A three-compartment bioartificial liver (BAL) has been developed for potential treatment of fulminant hepatic failure. It has been shown previously that viability and liver-specific functions were maintained in laboratory-scale bioreactors of such design. In this study, the performance of hepatocytes in a clinical-scale bioartificial liver was verified by sustained specific production rates of albumin and urea, along with oxygen consumption rates for up to 56 h and liver-specific gene expression for up to 72 h. In addition, transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus and other type C retroviral particles across the hollow fibers was not detected under both normal and extreme operating fluxes. These results demonstrate that the clinical-scale BAL performs at a level similar to the laboratory scale and that it offers a viral barrier against porcine retroviruses.
- Bioartificial liver
- Cultured hepatocytes
- Liver-specific gene expression
- Viral transmission