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Abstract

Bioartificial Liver, An Extra Corporeal Hepatic Support : Current Perspectives

Author(s): J Bagyalakashmi, A. S. W. A Sundar, A Mithun, T. K Ravi

The liver is a vital and remarkably complex organ with array of functions that have effects on nearly every other system of the human body. Transplantation, the only effective means of treating liver failure is not an option for many patients due to its massive cost, invasiveness and risk associated with transplantation. Ironically, liver is a highly regenerative organ. Hence some patients currently undergoing a liver transplant will need not undergo this major surgery if there were a simpler means of obtaining liver functions until their own organ has recovered. In light of the increasing incidence of liver disease and continuing shortage of donor organs, cell-based therapies are gaining attention as promising treatments for liver failure. However the impetus for developing a bioartificial liver is to serve as a bridge to liver transplantation in patients with acute liver failure. The use of bioartificial liver improves the patient's conditions and allows recovery from some complications of chronic liver disease prior to transplantation, which might well prove, both medically effective and economical.

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