Studying human livers perfused ex situ

  • Research type

    Research Study

  • Full title

    Using machine perfusion for the development of novel strategies to treat liver disease and repair livers rejected for transplantation.



  • Contact name

    Fotios Sampaziotis

  • Contact email

  • Sponsor organisation

    University of Cambridge

  • Duration of Study in the UK

    10 years, 0 months, 1 days

  • Research summary

    Liver transplantation is the only life-saving treatment for patients with end-stage liver disease. However, the demand for donor livers significantly outweighs the donor supply and up to 10% of patients die on the waiting list each year. To help decrease the shortfall of livers needed for transplantation, livers that are less than perfect and/or from high-risk donors (usually referred to as "marginal livers") are used. However, approximately one-third of marginal livers that are retrieved from donors are eventually turned down for transplantation in patients. This is because marginal livers are easily damaged during or after the retrieval process and they are at a higher risk of developing complications after transplantation.

    Therefore, this study proposes to obtain surgically retrieved livers that are deemed unsuitable for transplantation and keep them alive in the lab using liver "life support" machines (commonly known as machine perfusion devices) to develop new methods of repairing damaged livers outside the human body. If successful, this would significantly increase the availability of livers for transplantation, and allow us to develop new therapies against liver disease.

  • REC name

    North East - Newcastle & North Tyneside 2 Research Ethics Committee

  • REC reference


  • Date of REC Opinion

    2 Feb 2024

  • REC opinion

    Favourable Opinion