Xenogeneic cross-circulation for physiological support and recovery of ex vivo human livers

Wei Kelly Wu, Rei Ukita, Yatrik J. Patel, Michael Cortelli, Vincent Q. Trinh, Ioannis A. Ziogas, Sean A. Francois, Meredith Mentz, Nancy L. Cardwell, Jennifer R. Talackine, William M. Grogan, John W. Stokes, Youngmin A. Lee, Jinho Kim, Sophoclis P. Alexopoulos, Matthew Bacchetta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: The scarcity of suitable donor livers highlights a continuing need for innovation to recover organs with reversible injuries in liver transplantation. Approach and Results: Explanted human donor livers (n = 5) declined for transplantation were supported using xenogeneic cross-circulation of whole blood between livers and xeno-support swine. Livers and swine were assessed over 24 hours of xeno-support. Livers maintained normal global appearance, uniform perfusion, and preservation of histologic and subcellular architecture. Oxygen consumption increased by 75% (p = 0.16). Lactate clearance increased from -0.4 ± 15.5% to 31.4 ± 19.0% (p = 0.02). Blinded histopathologic assessment demonstrated improved injury scores at 24 hours compared with 12 hours. Vascular integrity and vasoconstrictive function were preserved. Bile volume and cholangiocellular viability markers improved for all livers. Biliary structural integrity was maintained. Conclusions: Xenogeneic cross-circulation provided multisystem physiological regulation of ex vivo human livers that enabled functional rehabilitation, histopathologic recovery, and improvement of viability markers. We envision xenogeneic cross-circulation as a complementary technique to other organ-preservation technologies in the recovery of marginal donor livers or as a research tool in the development of advanced bioengineering and pharmacologic strategies for organ recovery and rehabilitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)820-834
Number of pages15
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2023
Externally publishedYes


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