The work carried out by the researchers supported by The Liver Group Charity, and funded by the 'Liver for Life' Appeal, has resulted in numerous research publications.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Charity, 'The Liver Group'(1024533) was closed in 2016, in order to immediately reopen as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) called 'The Liver Group Charity'(1166985). This is the only material change and is a result of compliance with Charity Commission guidance.
To access our work from recent years simply click on the year you are interested in to download a PDF list of the articles and supplements, resulting from work supported by The Liver Group Charity, published in that year; most of which are linked to either PubMed or UCL Discovery, from where you can find links to the full-text versions.
If you wish to discuss any of the work supported by The Liver Group, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The Bio-Artificial Liver would save many lives, being vital in treating-
ACUTE LIVER DISEASE - This strikes out of the blue, usually in the previously fit and young; several hundred people die each year in the UK, millions worldwide. Worldwide hepatitis viruses are the major cause of acute liver disease, and children are particularly susceptible.
The new approach of temporarily replacing liver function with a Bio-Artificial Liver could revolutionise treatment for these patients, by giving the liver those critical few days it needs to repair itself.
A comparison between a diseased (left) and healthy liver (right)
"Help us to do this when nature can't"
CHRONIC LIVER DISEASE - Many patients with long-term liver disease are potentially treatable by liver transplantation. Yet at least one in three of these people die whilst waiting for a suitable donor. Tragically the search for suitable donors for children is particularly difficult.
A Bio-Artificial Liver would buy time until transplantation becomes possible.
Why has it been difficult to develop a Bio-Artificial Liver?
If an organ has a single function it is fairly simple to replace it artificially, at least for a while. This has been achieved with the heart which is a pump, the kidney which acts as a filter and the lung which is a membrane. These functions can be replaced with a single mechanical operation.
The liver has over a thousand functions, a multi-functional synthetic factory with a specialised command and control centre.
It makes proteins from simple amino acids, carbohydrates from simple sugars, and metabolises fat; it contains several hundred enzymes; as well as detoxifying foreign compounds such as drugs and alcohol, it renders the toxins normally produced in the body harmless.
A liver machine must replace all these functions, not only washing impurities out of the blood, but manufacturing the vital constituents of life.
HepatiCan is a liver support system that does the essential work of the liver.
The patient’s liver is not removed from their body. They are connected via intravenous line to HepatiCan.
When a patient is on HepatiCan their own liver is relieved of its duties, giving it the downtime it needs to repair itself.
HepatiCan has the potential to help:
•Patients who suddenly develop acute liver failure
•Make life longer and more enjoyable for people with liver disease who can’t get a liver transplant
•Beleaguered healthcare systems that want to help liver patients but don’t have the means to do so
•The families and carers of people with liver disease, who share the burden and trauma of not knowing how long their loved ones will live, or wait to receive a transplant.
HepatiCan has been successfully tested in pigs, the animal whose liver is most similar to a human’s.
The success of the pre-clinical trials means we can move on to conduct first-in-human trials
We’ve spent £15 million over 25 years to de-risk the commercial opportunity so this treatment can be delivered to patients
We are now in a very strong position to be the first to build an effective machine