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Open Access Liver Cell Transplantation: Basic Investigations for Safe Application in Infants and Small Children

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Liver cell transplantation (LCT) is a very promising method for the use in pediatric patients. It is significantly less invasive than whole organ transplantation, but has the potential to cure or at least to substantially improve severe disorders like inborn errors of metabolism or acute liver failure. Prior to a widespread use of the technique in children, some important issues regarding safety and efficacy must be addressed. We developed a mathematical model to estimate total hepatocyte counts in relation to bodyweight to make possible more appropriate dose calculations. Different liver cell suspensions were studied at different flow rates and different catheter sizes to determine mechanical damage of cells by shear forces. At moderate flow rates, no significant loss of viability was observed even at a catheter diameter of 4.2F. Addition of heparin to the cell suspension is favored, which is in contrast to previous animal experiments. Mitochondrial function of the hepatocytes was determined with the WST-1 assay and was not substantially altered by cryopreservation. We conclude that especially with the use of small catheters, human LCT should be safe and efficient even in small infants and neonates.

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Keywords: Cell application; Children; Cryopreservation; Hepatocyte transplantation; Portal vein catheter

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2009-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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