Supercharged liver cells for artificial liver

from the now-we-can-abuse-our-livers-with-confidence dept.
University Science News reports: "The first successful demonstration that liver cells can function at an elevated level outside the human body has been achieved…Her [UCSD Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia's] work could lead to the creation of an external artificial liver device able to effectively hold patients over until transplantation. Of the individuals dying from liver disease each year, most are on a waiting list for a new liver. A full-functioning device would also assist patients requiring another transplant due to a second liver failure, keeping them alive in between livers. Finally, according to Bhatia, 'The third application of this technology, which is the real Holy Grail, is to utilize a functional extracorporeal artificial liver to keep patients alive long enough for their liver to recover, thus avoiding an expensive and risky transplant. The liver is one of the only organs in the body that can actually regenerate itself.' " For more on this work, see the researcher's website.

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