Russia develops and tests bioartificial liver

Animal testing has proven the high efficiency of a bioartificial liver device created at the Russian Health Ministry's Transplantation and Artificial Organ Federal Research Center to deal with liver failure, center department head Murat Shagidulin said at the First all-Russia Cell Technology Symposium in Novosibirsk.

Animal testing has proven the high efficiency of a bioartificial liver device created at the Russian Health Ministry's Transplantation and Artificial Organ Federal Research Center to deal with liver failure, center department head Murat Shagidulin said at the First all-Russia Cell Technology Symposium in Novosibirsk.

"Transplants of the cell engineering device compensates for liver damage and reduces liver failure occurrences. The cell engineering device completely integrates into the recipient's liver cells a year after the transplant," Shagidulin said.

In his words, liver failure is a common disease and the only radical therapy available at present is a liver transplant but the deficit of donor organs is constantly growing.

The new method may prove efficient in treating chronic liver disease in the future, he said.

The device has been tested on dogs and rats, in which both acute and chronic liver diseases were tested with different methods, he said.

Liver and stem cells were attached to biodegradable matrixes, a sponge made of nanostructured material or a special gel, and the device was implanted in the damaged organs of the test subjects.

The mortality rate in test subjects suffering from acute liver disease stood at 20% after transplant and 66% without therapy, and there was no mortality in the group suffering from chronic liver disease in the case of transplant and 50% mortality in the group without bioartificial liver.

Tests showed that liver functions restored in subjects, which had been operated on, and even new bile ducts appeared in their liver tissue, Shagidulin said.

"The formation of a tissue engineering structure began or, actually "a new liver" was regenerated," he said.

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