Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Better Life Support For Artificial Liver Cells

Date:
August 26, 2007
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Researchers are developing technology for keeping liver cells alive and functioning normally inside bioartificial liver-assist devices. Such devices enable people who are suffering from acute liver failure to survive while their own liver cells regenerate, or until they receive a liver transplant. The person's blood or plasma circulates through the device. Inside, living cells -- usually pig or human liver cells -- perform normal liver functions.

Researchers at Ohio State University are developing technology for keeping liver cells alive and functioning normally inside bioartificial liver-assist devices (BLADs).

Such devices enable people who are suffering from acute liver failure to survive while their own liver cells regenerate, or until they receive a liver transplant. The person's blood or plasma circulates through the device. Inside, living cells -- usually pig or human liver cells -- perform normal liver functions.

For those liver cells to keep working, they need oxygen. Andre Palmer, an associate professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State, and his team are developing innovative ways to chemically modify and package hemoglobin -- the blood molecule in red blood cells that transports oxygen -- to deliver oxygen to liver cells in just the right way.

In the body, liver cells are naturally exposed to a range of oxygen concentrations, called an oxygen gradient. But reproducing that natural gradient inside a BLAD is difficult.

"If you don't recreate that oxygen gradient and the total amount of oxygen normally delivered, the liver cells in the BLAD won't function as well as they do in the body," Palmer said.

His solution has been to create different kinds of hemoglobin. One he seals inside microscopic polymer capsules; oxygen bound to the hemoglobin diffuses through the polymer over time to reach liver cells. Another is a type of hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, which consists of long chains of hemoglobin molecules wound into balls that can then transport oxygen to liver cells.

The use of this technology with patients would require clinical trials, which Palmer admits are years away. For now, he is working to prove that he can adjust the oxygen gradient and the amount of oxygen his hemoglobins can transport to liver cells housed in a BLAD.

"We've found that by using different types of hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers with different oxygen affinities and tuning the oxygen concentration, we can recreate natural oxygen gradients," Palmer said.

He began developing this technology while at the University of Notre Dame, and since 2006 has been continuing the work at Ohio State.

Though computer simulations had shown Palmer and his team that they could reproduce a natural oxygen gradient in principle, they have now conducted experiments on actual liver cells in the laboratory, and shown that they can do it in reality.

Palmer presented the project's preliminary results on August 23, 2007, at the American Chemical Society meeting in Boston .

This work is funded by the National Institutes of Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Better Life Support For Artificial Liver Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823083709.htm>.
Ohio State University. (2007, August 26). Better Life Support For Artificial Liver Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823083709.htm
Ohio State University. "Better Life Support For Artificial Liver Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070823083709.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Idaho Boy Helps Brother With Disabilities Complete Triathlon

Newsy (July 23, 2014) An 8-year-old boy helped his younger brother, who has a rare genetic condition that's confined him to a wheelchair, finish a triathlon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

Thousands Who Can't Afford Medical Care Flock to Free US Clinic

AFP (July 23, 2014) America may be the world’s richest country, but in terms of healthcare, the World Health Organisation ranks it 37th. Thousands turned out for a free clinic run by "Remote Area Medical" with a visit from the Governor of Virginia. Duration: 2:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins