A team of researchers has created 3D bioprinted liver models

Metabolic dysfunction–associated steatohepatitis (MASH), previously referred to as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, is an inflammatory condition characterized by the accumulation of fat in the liver, which can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.

With no cure for the disease, organ transplantation is currently the only option for treatment. Ongoing research efforts exploring potential therapeutic approaches to resolve steatohepatitis have been hampered by the lack of preclinical models that fully encapsulate the intricacies of the condition.

Seeking to address this issue, researchers from Sanford Burnham Prebys, Viscient Biosciences, the Salk Institute and the University of California, San Diego (all CA, USA) created 3D bioprinted liver tissue models. These were produced by layering human hepatocytes and nonparenchymal liver cells, including Kupffer cells and liver sinusoidal endothelial cells.

The cells were sourced from donors with healthy livers and MASH-diseased livers. The resulting product was a MASH-diseased tissue model that exhibited fibrosis, a healthy liver tissue model and a chimeric tissue model composed of both healthy cells and diseased nonparenchymal cells.