Researchers 3-D Print Liver-Like Device To Detoxify Blood

James Temple | Re/Code | May 9, 2014

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed a 3-D-printed device that can detoxify blood in much the same manner as the liver, using nanoparticles to lure and trap toxins that damage cells.

The “biomimetic 3D detoxifier” is specifically designed to remove “pore-forming toxins” that can pierce the membrane of healthy cells. These are often the result of venomous animal bites or stings, or an antibiotic-resistant bacterial infection such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (more commonly known as a staph infection).

Other scientists have shown that nanoparticles in the bloodstream can bind with and neutralize toxins, but they can also accumulate in the liver, “posing a risk of secondary poisoning especially in liver-failure patients,” the scientists wrote in a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature Communications...