Key points from article :
Scientists used a technique to grow bile duct organoids in the lab to repair damaged human livers.
First time that the technique has been used on human organs.
Approaches to provide an alternative to whole organ transplantation are urgently needed.
"It's important to look at ways of repairing damaged organs, or even provide alternatives," - Fotios Sampaziotis, lead author.
Patient's own cells from disease-spared areas could be used to repair destroyed ducts.
Grafted gallbladder organoids in mice were able to repair damaged ducts, opening avenues for regenerative medicine.
Transplanted organoids in human liver repaired the organ's ducts and restored their function.
Potential way of repairing damaged donor livers, making them suitable for transplant.
"Hope we will be able to transfer this into the clinic in the coming years." - Ludovic Vallier, joint senior author.
Study by University of Cambridge published in the Journal Science.