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The artificial liver

Norman L. Sussman, James H. Kelly
From: Science & Medicine: Volume 2 Number 3: Page 68 (June 1995)

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Abstract: Providing the liver's synthetic functions for brief but critical periods, particularly in acute hepatic failure, is the goal of developers of extracorporeal liver assistance. One device incorporates cloned human hepatocytes grown inside a hollow-fiber cartridge, through which the patient's blood is pumped during treatment, analogous to hemodialysis. The project is in its infancy, with just two dozen reported cases, but preliminary results are encouraging. "Liver dialysis" could be useful in short-term clinical situations while the natural regenerative capability of the liver restores normal biochemical activity to the injured organ. Application to the chronic liver failure may eventually be possible.

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