Leti sensors used in future bio-artificial liver
Categorie(s) : Events, News, Research
Published : 30 November 2014
The EU FP7 d-LIVER project aims to develop a bio-artificial liver (BAL) support system for patients suffering from liver failure or awaiting a transplant. The project, launched in 2011, brings together a dozen partners, including CEA-Leti, which is supplying sensors for the real-time monitoring of ammonium ions.
Leti’s sensors are currently accurate to within 8% to 10%, and the goal is to bring that margin of error down to 3% or 4%. At their present stage of development, the components offer the same level of manufacturability as commercially-available devices. In five rounds of testing at Berlin, Germany’s Charité Hospital, including one last month, the device performed well. The measurements taken remained valid after three weeks—the lifespan of the liver cell culture used to make the BAL work.
The final steps in assembling the sensors is completed by hand by hospital staff—a particularly notable detail given the sensors’ stellar performance. Because the sensors cannot be sterilized in one go without damaging them, the parts must be sterilized individually and hand-assembled at a sterile lab bench. CEA-Leti researchers personally trained hospital staff in Berlin in both the assembly and measurement tracking processes.
The project partners will now run tests on pathological human serum to demonstrate the BAL’s capacity to effectively remove toxins from human blood. If the technology works, it could wind up in hospitals, where it would be used just like today’s dialysis machines.