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Scientists have grown a liver in a laboratory, offering fresh hope to hundreds of thousands of patients with diseased and damaged organs.
It raises the prospect of those in need of transplants one day being offered livers that are ‘made to order’.
The first pieces of lab-grown livers could be used in hospitals within just five years, the researchers said.
Patches of artificial tissue could be used to repair livers damaged by injury, disease, alcohol abuse and paracetamol overdose.
Other possibilities include sections of artificial livers to keep those needing transplants alive – in much the same way as a dialysis machine is used to treat kidney failure.