Significant survival prolongation in pigs with fulminant hepatic failure treated with a novel microgravity-based bioartificial liver.
ABSTRACT The aim of this study was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of our novel Innsbruck Bioartificial Liver (IBAL; US patent no. 10/641275), which contains aggregates of porcine hepatocytes grown under simulated microgravity, in a porcine model of fulminant hepatic failure (FHF). FHF was induced by a combination of 75-80% liver resection and ischemia of the remnant segments for 60 min in 12 pigs. Two experimental groups were studied: the control group (n = 5) received standard intensive care and the study group (n = 5) received IBAL treatment. The survival of pigs with FHF was significantly prolonged by about 150% with IBAL treatment as compared to controls (controls: 20.4 +/- 2.8 h, IBAL: 51.0 +/- 2.2 h; P = 0.00184). In addition, intracranial pressure, blood ammonia, lactate, aspartate aminotransferase, and alkaline phosphatase levels were lower in the IBAL group than in controls, indicating metabolic activity of porcine hepatocytes in the bioreactor. No adverse effects were observed.