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Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2009 Feb;11(1):64-8.

Hepatic assist devices: will they ever be successful?

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  • 1University of Utah, 30 North 1900 East, SOM 4R118, Salt Lake City, UT 84132-2410, USA.


Hepatic assist remains elusive. Bioartificial livers (BALs), consisting of liver cells or tissue in a synthetic housing, have been promising but have not proven successful in clinical trials. Artificial livers that consist of sophisticated sorbents and membranes cannot support a failing liver but may shorten episodes of acute decompensation in patients with stable cirrhosis. These artificial livers are most likely to find a place as temporary support prior to transplantation. True liver support will require a BAL. This article proposes goals for making a clinically useful BAL, with attention to systems biology and potential sources of hepatocytes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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