The liver is incredibly tiny -- just half a millimetre thick and four millimetres wide. Yet this minute organ, with little visual resemblance to the real thing in its petri dish home, manages to replicate key processes done by the real thing. It produced the protein albumin and synthesised plasma glycoproteins fibrinogen and transferrin. These are all vital in getting nutrients, hormones and drugs to the blood and the rest of the body. It also generated fat-carrying cholesterol. For its detoxification functions, the liver also needs to produce certain enzymes including CYP 1A2 and CYP 3A4 -- which this tiny organ precursor also did. Its albumin production was between five and nine times more than in 2D flat cell structures engineered.
Liat Clark of Wired UK has the story: Link