Cell therapeutic options in liver diseases: cell types, medical devices and regulatory issues
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- Nussler, A.K., Zeilinger, K., Schyschka, L. et al. J Mater Sci: Mater Med (2011) 22: 1087. doi:10.1007/s10856-011-4306-7
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Although significant progress has been made in the field of orthotopic liver transplantation, cell-based therapies seem to be a promising alternative to whole-organ transplantation. The reasons are manifold but organ shortage is the main cause for this approach. However, many problems such as the question which cell type should be used or which application site is best for transplantation have been raised. In addition, some clinicians have had success by cultivating liver cells in bioreactors for temporary life support. Besides answering the question which cell type, which injection site or even which culture form should be used for liver support recent international harmonization of legal requirements is needed to be addressed by clinicians, scientists and companies dealing with cellular therapies. We here briefly summarize the possible cell types used to partially or temporarily correct liver diseases, the most recent development of bioreactor technology and important regulatory issues.