Functions of Bio-Artificial Liver

The liver is one of the most important organs. It regulates the level of most chemicals in the blood. It also secretes the bile which breaks down fat to promote digestion and absorption.  The blood leaving stomach and intestine passes through the liver where the chemicals are broken down and balanced, nutrients for the body are also created here that are used by the body. The liver also metabolizes drugs and breaks them down into simpler compounds for assimilation. Top BSc College in NCR offers courses in biological sciences that can be very helpful for students to build a lucrative career in this field. The liver performs vital functions and hence any problem with liver affects the functions of the body significantly.

There are numerous causes of liver failure like

  • Excessive intake of Alcohol.
  • The liver failure that is drug induced. For instance acetaminophen.
  • Consuming poisonous mushrooms unknowingly.

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Treatment for Liver failure

Liver dialysis – It is found to be very useful for patients with hepatorenal syndrome. The purification of blood by removing toxins is done in more or less the same way as dialysis is done for kidney failure.

Hemofiltration – This is another treatment similar to dialysis but used in case of multiple organ failures like kidney, liver, spleen etc. Filtration of blood is done through convection.

Plasmapheresis – It is an extracorporeal therapy where the blood plasma is removed, treated and returned or exchanged.

Liver transplantation – When the other treatments do not prove to be sufficient, liver transplantation is the last resort. A donor’s liver is essential for transplantation. There is a risk of organ rejection by the body in many cases and infections may occur due to suppression of the immune system during transplantation.

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Bioartificial Liver

Bioartificial liver (BAL) is the system that is designed to facilitate malfunctioning liver of patients suffering from various liver diseases or liver failure. The system is made up of bioreactor device along with functional hepatocytes. The Bioartificial liver is expected to perform all functions of the liver except the secretion of bile.

Research is going on to find the most suitable cells to function as hepatocytes. Trials have been conducted with primary human hepatocytes, liver progenitor cell line HepaRG, immortalized cell lines of C3A human hepatoblastoma cells. Porcine hepatocytes that are cryopreserved have also been researched.

Clinical investigations have been conducted with some of these. However, a lot of work remains to be done still though the possibilities hold a lot of promise.

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Bioartificial liver should be able to perform the following

  • Purification of cellular add-ons and natural recognition of every aspect.
  • The purification process should be able to eliminate the transmission of any infectious vectors which could complicate the condition of the liver.
  • The modalities of use must be manageable and vigorous.
  • The artificial liver has to be completely biocompatible and the functioning should be devoid of complications.
  • The bioreactor must function should be able to introduce therapeutic and regulatory molecules to the liver to help it in the regenerative process.
  • It should be compatible with the liver and no rejection should occur.
  • Blood should be able to aspirate throughout the process.

Components of the Bioartificial Liver

  1. Hollow fibers for Hemofiltration/ hemodialysis
  2. Hepatocyte cell line and maintenance of the cell line
  3. ELAD (extracorporeal liver-assisting gadgets)
  4. Cellular Components of Bioartificial Liver such as Primary hepatocytes and immortalized telephone traces.

Membranes of the Bioartificial Liver

The membranes used in the Bioartificial liver are specialized and possess biocompatibility and adhesion qualities. The options are

Cuprophan- It has balanced cost and the molecular weight is <12Kda.

Hemophan- It has a cellulosic membrane and the molecular weight is <10Kda.

Cellulose acetate- It has optimal cost and the molecular weight is 70-100Kda.

Polyamide- The molecular weight of it is <1000Kda.

Polypropylene- The molecular weight of it is <1000Kda and it possesses sufficient cellular adhesion.

Polysulfone- It has high flow rate and the molecular weight is 100Kda.

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The concept of the Bioartificial liver has proven to be viable and the animal studies have been successful. The clinical application of Bioartificial liver have given encouraging results and are deemed safe. There have however been hindrances like patients developing subsequent OLT. The final test and acceptance of Bioartificial liver will be possible when a randomized large patient groups yield satisfactory statistical results. Best college for BSc in NCR offers courses tailor-made for students aspiring to build their careers in this field.