Artificial liver support: quo vadis?
ABSTRACT Approximately 2 million persons worldwide die each year from hepatic failure. Because of the scarcity of donor organs, artificial liver support systems are being developed with the aim of either supporting patients with borderline functional liver cell mass until an appropriate organ becomes available for transplantation or until their livers recover from injury.
A literature review was performed using MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE, and library searches. Only major liver support techniques are included in this review.
A number of extracorporeal liver assist systems are in various stages of clinical development. Published data indicate that patients with acute and acute-on-chronic liver failure may benefit from treatment with some of these therapeutic measures. Results from large prospective randomized trials have shown that treatment with MARS® and PROMETHEUS® may not confer a survival advantage, despite positive effects on blood toxemia and improvement in hepatic encephalopathy. Currently, hemofiltration using albumin-leaking membranes is being explored as a novel promising approach to blood purification in liver failure.
Developing an effective liver assist technology has proven difficult, because of the complexity of liver functions that must be replaced, as well as heterogeneity of the patient population. Non-biological systems may have a role in the treatment of specific forms of liver failure where the primary goal is to provide blood detoxification/purification. Biological systems appear to hold promise for treating liver failure where the primary objective is to provide whole liver functions which are impaired or lost.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Bioartificial liver systems, designed to support patients with liver failure, are composed of bioreactors and functional hepatocytes. Immunological rejection of the embedded hepatocytes by the host immune system is a serious concern that crucially degrades the performance of the device. Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are considered a desirable source for bioartificial liver systems, because patient-derived iPS cells are free from immunological rejection. The purpose of this paper was to test the feasibility of a bioartificial liver system with iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells. METHODS: Mouse iPS cells were differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells by a multi-step differentiation protocol via embryoid bodies and definitive endoderm. Differentiation of iPS cells was evaluated by morphology, PCR assay, and functional assays. iPS cell-derived hepatocyte-like cells were cultured in a bioreactor module with a pore size of 0.2 mum for 7 days. The amount of albumin secreted into the circulating medium was analyzed by ELISA. Additionally, after a 7-day culture in a bioreactor module, cells were observed by a scanning electron microscope. RESULTS: At the final stage of the differentiation program, iPS cells changed their morphology to a polygonal shape with two nucleoli and enriched cytoplasmic granules. Transmission electron microscope analysis revealed their polygonal shape, glycogen deposition in the cytoplasm, microvilli on their surfaces, and a duct-like arrangement. PCR analysis showed increased expression of albumin mRNA over the course of the differentiation program. Albumin and urea production was also observed. iPS-Heps culture in bioreactor modules showed the accumulation of albumin in the medium for up to 7 days. Scanning electron microscopy revealed the attachment of cell clusters to the hollow fibers of the module. These results indicated that iPS cells were differentiated into hepatocyte-like cells after culture for 7 days in a bioreactor module with a pore size of 0.2 mum. CONCLUSION: We consider the combination of a bioreactor module with a 0.2-mum pore membrane and embedded hepatocytes differentiated from iPS cells to be a promising option for bioartificial liver systems. This paper provides the basic concept and preliminary data for an iPS cell-oriented bioartificial liver system.PACS code: 87. Biological and medical physics, 87.85.-d Biomedical engineering, 87.85.Lf Tissue engineering, 87.85.Tu Modeling biomedical systems.BioMedical Engineering OnLine 12/2012; 11(1):93. · 1.61 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The excellent results of vascularized organ transplantation have resulted in an increasing number of end-stage organ failure patients seeking such treatment. The results of organ transplantation depend on a number of factors--the quality of the donor (and an organ), living vs. deceased donation, magnitude of ischemic injury (and its prevention), and recipient-dependent factors. Ischemia/reperfusion injury in organ transplantation is a multifactorial process, which may lead to delayed graft function. In addition, surgical and preservation techniques, type of immunosuppressive regimens, complications after transplantation and post-transplant management may also have a significant impact on short- and long-term results of transplantation. In this paper we describe advances in transplantation in recent years, with particular emphasis on kidney, liver, intestines, whole pancreas and pancreatic islets.Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research 12/2011; 17(12):RA282-91. · 1.36 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Liver diseases are of major concern as they now account for millions of deaths annually. As a result of the increased incidence of liver disease, many patients die on the transplant waiting list, before a donor organ becomes available. To meet the huge demand for donor liver, alternative approaches using liver tissue engineering principles are being actively pursued. Even though adult hepatocytes, the primary cells of the liver are most preferred for tissue engineering of liver, their limited availability, isolation from diseased organs, lack of in vitro propagation and deterioration of function acts as a major drawback to their use. Various approaches have been taken to prevent the functional deterioration of hepatocytes including the provision of an adequate extracellular matrix and co-culture with non-parenchymal cells of liver. Great progress has also been made to differentiate human stem cells to hepatocytes and to use them for liver tissue engineering applications. This review provides an overview of recent challenges, issues and cell sources with regard to liver tissue engineering.Liver international: official journal of the International Association for the Study of the Liver 02/2013; · 3.87 Impact Factor