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Metabolically, man or mouse

Massachusetts researchers have created mice withhuman ectopic artificial livers that were used to evaluate human drug metabolism, drug-drug interactions and drug-induced liver injuryin a proof-of-principle study.1 Unlike animal models that are currently under development for monitoring liver toxicity, the new mice are healthy and immunocompetent, which might give a better picture of outcomes in humans.

The artificial livers consist of a porous

polyethylene glycol (PEG) scaffold encapsulating three cell types: human hepatocytes to carry out the liver's metabolic functions and mouse fibroblasts and human liver endothelial cells to provide biological and chemical signals necessary for hepatocyte function (see "Human ectopic artificial liver mouse").

In addition to providing

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