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Cell Transplant. 1992;1(5):323-41.

Assessment of artificial liver support technology.

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Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ 08854.


Despite more than 30 yr of research and development, an artificial liver has still not yet become clinical reality. Although previous attempts using a multiplicity of techniques including hemodialysis, hemoperfusion, plasma exchange, extracorporeal perfusion, and crosshemodialysis have shown minor improvement in patients with acute hepatic failure, limited clinical trials have failed to demonstrate any survival benefit. Encouraged by the progress on techniques that maintain long-term cultures of hepatocytes, more recent efforts have been directed at the use of hepatocytes as the basis of liver support. This review takes a critical look at past and present concepts in the development of artificial liver supports and both qualitatively and quantitatively evaluates the advantages and disadvantages of the available methodology.

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