We have developed two types of hybrid artificial liver support system (HALSS) that use hepatocyte organoid culture: (1) a PUF-HALSS comprising an artificial liver module using polyurethane foam (PUF), in which hepatocytes form spheroids in its pores, and maintained liver-specific functions for at least ten days in vitro; (2) an LLS-HALSS that uses a liver lobule-like structure (LLS) module containing hollow fibers with a microregular arrangement in which hepatocytes in the extra-fiber space of the module form the organoids by centrifugation that maintain liver-specific functions for at least two months in vitro. In preclinical experiments, a PUF-HALSS was applied to a pig having liver failure. To evaluate the effect of liver regeneration, a PUF- and an LLS-HALSS were applied to a rat having reversible hepatic failure. Each HALSS was effective in supporting liver function, stabilization of general conditions and recovery from liver failure state. These results indicate that these HALSS may be useful to treat liver failure patients until liver transplantation or until regeneration of the native liver.
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