Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

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Making Moulds
11 June 2013

Making Moulds

These coloured tiles may look like designs for fabrics or furnishings but, rather than being made of cloth, they’re crafted from living cells. Scientists have created miniature moulds that can organise and support several different types of cells at the same time – in these examples one type of cell is stained green, while the other is red. As well as looking beautiful, the technology has a vital purpose that could save thousands of lives in the future. Donor organs for transplantation are in short supply around the world, and there are problems with rejection if the match isn’t perfect. But organs are a complex arrangement of many different types of cells, and are currently tricky to grow in the lab. Making ‘moulded’ organs using this technique could solve the problem, and the researchers have already shown that they can create functioning liver tissue that can be transplanted into mice.

Written by Kat Arney

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