A team led by scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston has developed a cell-free matrix that can be used to grow liver grafts that might be useful for transplantation (Uygun BE et al. Nat
Med. doi:10.1038/nm.2170 [published online June 13, 2010]).
The technique involves flushing living cells out of a liver's structural matrix of connective tissue and blood vessels. After the cells are removed, the lobular structure of the liver and its extracellular matrix remain, containing biochemical signals that direct newly introduced liver cells to migrate and resume function.
Hampton T. Growing Liver Grafts. JAMA. 2010;304(7):733. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1083