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3D printed 'nano-liver' could help poisoning and infection victims

Steve Dent, @stevetdent
May 14, 2014
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When 3D printing and nanotechnology get together for a party the results are actually good for your liver, according to researchers at the UC San Diego. They've managed to create a device that uses nanoparticles to trap toxins that can damage cells in the body, helping victims of animal stings, bacterial infections and other toxic horrors. Though nanoparticles are already used to help people with liver damage, they need to be ingested like food and can ironically cause secondary liver poisoning. By 3D printing a "hydrogel matrix" to enclose them, a faux-liver can be created and installed outside the body like a classic dialysis machine. A test device managed to destroy all the pore-forming toxins during in-vitro studies, so let's hope the research continues -- for the sake of some of our future livers.

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