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World J Gastrointest Surg. Nov 30, 2009; 1(1): 21-25
Published online Nov 30, 2009. doi: 10.4240/wjgs.v1.i1.21
Future of bioartificial liver support
Robert AFM Chamuleau
Robert AFM Chamuleau, Department of Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Meibergdreef 69-71, 1105 BK, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Author contributions: Chamuleau RAFM contributed solely to this paper.
Correspondence to: Robert AFM Chamuleau, MD, PhD, Department of Hepatology, Academic Medical Center, S-Building, Floor 1, Room 166, Meibergdreef 69-71, 1105 BK, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Telephone: +31-20-5666832 Fax: +31-20-5669190
Received: October 21, 2009
Revised: October 28, 2009
Accepted: November 4, 2009
Published online: November 30, 2009

Many different artificial liver support systems (biological and non-biological) have been developed, tested pre-clinically and some have been applied in clinical trials. Based on theoretical considerations a biological artificial liver (BAL) should be preferred above the non-biological ones. However, clinical application of the BAL is still experimental. Here we try to analyze which hurdles have to be taken before the BAL will become standard equipment in the intensive care unit for patients with acute liver failure or acute deterioration of chronic liver disease.

Keywords: Acute liver failure, Bioartificial liver, Liver transplantation, Cell transplantation, Tissue engineering, Xenotransplantation