Artificial liver moves toward commercialization

March 26, 2000

Emergency device could save lives

SAN FRANCISCO -- In cases of severe liver failure, often the only effective alternative to keep a patient alive is a liver transplant. Due to a severe shortage of donor organs, many patients die waiting for suitable organs. An artificial liver that provides temporary support of a person's liver function can serve as a bridge to transplant or as a short-term treatment. Prototype devices, which filter blood toxins that build up as a result of liver damage, have been used in limited clinical trials to support patients. Advances in the development of this device, which could save many lives in the future, will be highlighted at the 219th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.
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