2006 ESAO meeting in Umea, Sweden

The Basic Science Committee of ESOT was founded in 2004 with strong support of the ESOT council. The specific aim of the BSC is to support basic science in transplantation within ESOT by enhancing communication, and education and by rasing the profile and quality of basic science at ESOT meetings. One of the key strategies of the BSC is to establish a Europe-wide Basic Science Network in Transplantation where inclusion is dependent on the laboratory/group having five basic science publications in peer-reviewed journals during the previous four years. Details of these laboratories together with selected publications, areas of research interests and specific research tecniques and tools available are available as a link on the ESOT web-site.
In support of one of the BSC strategies, ESOT has made available a number of small Travel Grants (€500 per applicant) to support the travel of individuals wishing to visit a European laboratory outside their own country that can offer a specific technique or expertise. Applications for funding should be made to the members of the ESOT Basic Sciences Committee via the ESOT Secretariat.

ESOT Basic Science Committee Travel Awards

The article by Boerries Brandenburg, Lars Stockl, Cindy Gutzeit, Martin Roos, Joachim Lupberger, Ruth Schwartlander, Hans Gelderblom, Igor M. Sauer, Peter Hans Hofschneider, Eberhard Hildt in the December issue of HEPATOLOGY reports on a Novel system for efficient gene transfer into primary human hepatocytes via cell permeable HBV virus-like particle. Protein transduction domains (PTD)s have been used to deliver a variety of biologically active cargo across cellular membranes. However the potential of PTDs to mediate transport of nanoparticular structures into the cytoplasm bypassing the endosomal compartment remains unclear. Based on HBV nucleocapsids cell permeable virus like particles (VLP)s harboring a marker gene were established. Cell permeability was achieved by fusion with TLM-PTD. Electron and confocal microscopy revealed that these VLPs translocate as complete particles across the plasma membrane and transverse the cytoplasm towards the nucleus. Inhibition of endocytosis did not affect translocation of these VLPs into the cytoplasm. Based on these particles a gene transfer system was developed. To this end the particles were loaded with DNA encoding SHBs or eGFP that served as marker genes. Using this system for gene transfer in primary human hepatocytes a gene transfer efficiency of ~95% was observed. In conclusion, the TLM-PTD has the potential to mediate efficient transfer of assembled particles and its cargo i.e. nucleic acids into primary human hepatocytes. This provides the basis for development of novel transducible therapeutic or diagnostic particles. Hepatology 2005, 42 (6): 1300-1309

Gene transfer into primary human hepatocytes

Today, the BMBF prize (Innovation Competition for Medical Technology) for medical technology was awarded to our joint project with Prof. A. Joerres and Dr. U. Baurmeister concerning the development of a new detoxification system based on our experience with the Single Pass Albumin Dialysis. Research on the technique of diasorption utilising nanoparticles will be funded with approx. 300.000 Euro. More information (in German) here...

BMBF prize for medical technology awarded

This book is the proceedings of the Falk Symposium No. 145 on ‘Artificial Liver Support’, held on 27--28 January 2005 in Ulm, Germany, and provides an overview of the possibilities and limitations of the existing procedures and devices available for artificial liver support. The book is written for clinicians, researchers, graduate students, and academics.
For more than 25 years clinicians and scientists have been trying to improve the treatment of acute hepatic failure. Several devices were developed and hemodialysis procedures were refined. The treatment of fulminant hepatic failure and end-stage liver cirrhosis by liver transplantation became a standard procedure. However, for the successful management of critical situations before and after liver surgery, artificial liver support is still needed. The results achieved with albumin dialysis (MARS System), the Prometheus System, and dialysis and hemofiltration or plasma exchange as well as modular extracorporeal liver support (MELS) and the Amsterdam bioartificial liver (AMC BAL) are discussed in detail regarding their effects in different clinical situations.
In the second half of the book, the remaining problems and expectations for the future of clinical hepatocyte transplantation and stem cell therapy are elucidated.
Leading experts in the fields of artificial devices, bioartificial devices, hepatocyte transplantation and stem cells present the latest data on these topics. Their experience and their data are summarized in this volume, thus providing an exceptional overview of the problems and future perspectives in the field of artificial liver support.
Artificial Liver Support Series: Falk Symposium, Vol. 145 Henne-Bruns, D.; Buttenschön, K.; Fuchs, M.; Lohse, A. (Eds.) Springer-Verlag 2005 (ISBN: 1-4020-3239-0)

Artificial Liver Support

The 2nd Swiss Experimental Surgery Symposium will be held Thursday 12 and Friday 13 January, 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland. Medical research, especially surgical research, is becoming more and more important in our current world of innovations, fast application of new devices and implementation of new techniques in humans. All these projects necessarily require pre-clinical testing which is normally carried out in large animal trials. Thus, it is of utmost importance to train young researchers, whether medical or veterinary doctors, biologists or engineers in order that they may acquire the necessary competencies.
A wide panel of Swiss and international experts are invited to make it a state-of-the-art symposium. Such meetings are not only important for the teaching of technical aspects, but they also give the opportunity to consider ethical and regulatory aspects of animal use for experimentation. Finally, the human networking aspect of such a meeting and exchanging ideas and knowledge is equally important. More information here.

2nd Swiss Experimental Surgery Symposium

The XXXII Congress of the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) will be held in Bologna from 5 to 8 October, 2005. The Congress will be combined with the first Congress of the International Federation for Artificial Organs (IFAO), which is a newly formed ISAO-derived umbrella structure, embracing ESAO, the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), the Japanese Society for Artificial Organs (JSAO) and the International Faculty for Artificial Organs (INFA). The XXXII Congress of the European Society for Artificial Organs and the I Congress of the International Federation for Artificial Organs, and the associated Trade Exhibition, will be held at the Palazzo dei Congressi in Bologna, Piazza della Costituzione 4, at the Fiera District, about 15 minutes from the city-center. The final program is available via the ESAO 2005 webpage.
Looking forward to meeting you in Bologna !
The following presentations will give an update on some of our projects:

Oral Presentations The slidereactor – evaluation of a hollow fiber based bioreactor suitable for light microscopy R. Schwartlander, J. Schmid, E. Katenz, X. Cheng, G. Pless, X. Gong, F. Vondran, P. Neuhaus, I.M. Sauer (Berlin, Germany)
Cryopreservation of primary human hepatocytes – protective effect of trehalose? F. Vondran, E. Katenz, X.B. Gong, X.D. Cheng, R. Schwartlander, P. Neuhaus, I.M. Sauer (Berlin, Germany)
First in vitro comparison of two bioartificial liver support systems: MELS CellModule and AMC-BAL P.P. Poyck, G. Pless, R. Hoekstra, S. Roth, A.C.W.A. van Wijk, R. Schwartlander, T.M. van Gulik, I.M. Sauer, R.A. Chamuleau (Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Berlin, Germany)
First results in continuous albumin veno-venous haemodiafiltration in acute liver failure (ALF) H. Ringe, M. Zimmering, W. Luck, I.M. Sauer (Berlin, Germany)
Poster Presentations Acute liver failure: fractionated plasma separation/adsorption (FPSA) and high-flux hemodialysis (HD) - Bridging therapy to LTX G. Junge, S. Kohler, L. Schewior, I.M. Sauer, A. Pascher, P. Neuhaus (Berlin, Germany)
Time-course maintenance of specific functional activity in cultured human hepatocyte E.A. Katenz, F.W.R. Vondran, X.B. Gong, X.D. Cheng, R. Schwartlander, P. Neuhaus, I.M. Sauer (Berlin, Germany)
Effect of matrine on the expression of cytochrome P-450, 2A6, and 2B6 of primary human hepatocytes X. Gong, E.A. Effimova, F.W.R. Vondran, X. Cheng, R. Schwartlander, D. Yang, P. Neuhaus, I.M. Sauer (Berlin, Germany; Guangzhou, Hangzhou, China)

Presentations at the ESAO 2005

Thema: "Tödliche Verwechselungen (Therapie der Konollenblätterpilvergiftung)"
Dr. J. Schefold, Med. Klinik m.S. Nephrologie u. Int. Intensivmedizin, CVK
PD Dr. T. Berg, Med. Klinik m.S. Hepatologie/Gastroenterologie, CVK
Dr. I.M. Sauer, Chirurgie, CVK
Diskutant: Prof. Dr. Dörken, Med. Klinik m.S. Hämatologie/Onkologie

Dienstag, 23.08.2005, 13.00 Uhr im Kursraum 6, Mittelallee 10, Untergeschoss, der Charité - Campus Virchow. Die Veranstaltung ist zertifiziert und ergibt 1 Weiterbildungpunkt der ÄK.

EPGS: One Day On Acute Liver Failure

Webcasts of selcted presentations (including videos and slides) of 8th meeting of the Catalan Transplant Foundation in Barcelona 2005 are available via the offical webpage. Some talks deal with the "Tratamiento de la insuficiencia hepática aguda".


On occasion of the final meeting of the EU-project "Development and clinical study of a bioartificial liver based on reversibly immortalised human hepatocyte" the European Postgraduate Gastro-Surgical School (EPGS) organized the symposium One Day On Acute Liver Failure, to be held at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, on October 28, 2005! Speakers will be K. Boudjema, F. Calise, R.A.F.M. Chamuleau, B. Clement, T.M. van Gulik, R. Hoekstra, R. Jalan, P.L.M. Jansen, E. de Jonge, B. Kreymann, A. Lee, J. Plevris, I.M. Sauer, E. Sokal, and J. Ijzermans. More details and the final program are available here.

Webcast of 8th meeting of CTF

S. Malchesky, the Editor-in-Chief of Artificial Organs, informed us that our article 'Blogs' and 'wikis' are valuable software tools for communication within research groups. was among the top 25 most viewed online in 2005 to date at Blackwell Synergy in general !

Article in the top 25 most viewed

This article by R. Vanholder, J.F. Del Canizo, I.M. Sauer, and B. Stegmayr summarizes the current evolutions regarding artificial organs in Europe. The review emanates from the activities by four of the work groups of the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) and is essentially based on the reports by these work groups at the latest ESAO meeting in Warsaw, Poland (2004). The topics are: apheresis, heart support, liver support, uremic toxins. Artif Organs. 2005 Jun;29(6):498-506.

The European artificial organ scene: present status


The XXXII Congress of the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) will be held in Bologna from 5 to 8 October, 2005. The Congress will be combined with the first Congress of the International Federation for Artificial Organs (IFAO), which is a newly formed ISAO-derived umbrella structure, embracing ESAO, the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs (ASAIO), the Japanese Society for Artificial Organs (JSAO) and the International Faculty for Artificial Organs (INFA). The annual "One day on the liver" held by the Liver Support Working Group (LSWG) will have a focus on research concerning liver support in China and will be a kick-off meeting for closer collaboration of the ESAO-LSWG with Chinese groups.

ESAO Meeting 2005 in Bologna


Greetings from Suzhou, China

The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF – Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung) has awarded a grant of nearly 900.000 € for a new collaborative project in tissue engineering: „Methods for hypothermic long term culture of primary human liver cells in perfusion bioreactors“. Partners are Biochrom AG (Dr. R.K. Schindler), Universitätsklinikum Essen, Institut für Physiologische Chemie (Dr. U. Rauen), and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Klinik für Allgemein-, Visceral- und Transplantationschirurgie (Dr. I.M. Sauer).

BMBF awarded new grant

The SlideReactor - A Simple Hollow Fiber Based Bioreactor Suitable for Light Microscopy (Igor M. Sauer, Ruth Schwartlander, Jochen Schmid, Ekaterina Efimova, Florian W.R. Vondran, Daniel Kehr, Gesine Pless, Antonino Spinelli, Börries Brandenburg, Eberhardt Hildt, and Peter Neuhaus) was published in the latest issue of Artificial Organs, Volume 29 Issue 3 Page 264 ff.  - March 2005: Most bioartificial liver support systems are based on hollow fiber capillaries within modified dialysis cartridges or more sophisticated bioreactor constructions. Due to their design microscopic follow-up of reorganization and growth of tissue between the hollow fibers is not possible. The SlideReactor is a simple hollow fiber based bioreactor construction suitable for light microscopy and time-lapse video observation. The SlideReactor offers a cell compartment separated from a medium inflow and outflow compartment. Cell compartment access ports enable easy filling of the cell compartment with cell suspension, as well as fixation of the tissue. For more complex procedures or full access to all the cells, the bioreactor can be opened easily by cutting the silicone seal with a scalpel. Due to its simple design and the utilization of standard materials, it could serve as a suitable, cost-efficient tool to evaluate the behavior of cells cultured between hollow fiber capillaries. The paper describes the production process: similar to open source projects in software engineering, we would like to propose the concept as an open platform to anyone interested in hollow fiber based cell culture.

The SlideReactor

The Third International Symposium on Hepatic failure and Artificial Liver will be held from Mar 24-27, 2005 in Suzhou, China. The sponsors include Chinese Medical Association Zhejiang Branch and First Affiliated Hospital, Medical College, Zhejiang University. This symposium is aimed to promote the international communication, further the study on artificial liver, popularize the usage of artificial liver system. The conference is focussing on “Developing Artificial Liver, Curing Hepatic Diseases”.

3rd Int. Symp. on Hepatic failure and Artificial Liver

The Institute of Biomedical engineering, Materials Science and Application (BMSA), and the Department of Surgery (GUMC) organise the symposium: Artificial Organs and Organ Transplantation. 18 February, 2005 - Rode Zaal, Groningen University Medical Center, Groningen, The Netherlands This symposium focuses on highlighting a number of aspects of artificial organs and organ transplantation in general and bridging to new therapies of end stage organ disease in particular. The meeting is supported by the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) annd the European Society for Organ Transplantation (ESOT). Download the program...

Artificial Organs and Organ Transplantation

In Vitro Evaluation of the Transportability of Viable Primary Human Liver Cells Originating From Discarded Donor Organs in Bioreactors by Igor M. Sauer, Ruth Schwartlander, Olav van der Jagt, Ingo Steffen, Ekaterina Efimova, Gesine Pless, Daniel C. Kehr, Dimitrios Kardassis, Jan H. Fruhauf, Joerg C. Gerlach, and Peter Neuhaus (Artificial Organs Volume 29 Issue 2 Page 144-151, February 2005) reports on experiments concerning the impact of two major potential threats to viable cells during transport in hollow fiber bioreactors: temperature changes and mechanical stress.
The use of primary human liver cells obtained from discarded donor organs is increasingly favored for cell-based extracorporeal liver support systems. However, as cryopreservation of primary human hepatocytes causes a significant loss of metabolic activity, the transport of bioreactors with viable liver cells is required. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of two major potential threats to viable cells during transport: temperature changes and mechanical stress. Methods: In each experiment three hollow fiber-based bioreactors were charged with primary human liver cells originating from the same discarded donor organ and were simultaneously kept under culture conditions for 8 days. In total, 18 bioreactors were evaluated. On the fifth day the bioreactors were exposed to hypothermia (4°C, n = 3), to hyperthermia (42°C, n = 3), or served as normothermic controls (37°C, n = 3). In a second test series bioreactors were exposed to vibration (21 Hz for 20 min, thereafter 7 Hz for 160 min, n = 3), or were operated as control cultures (n = 6). The release of hepatocyte-specific enzymes was determined as an indicator for cell damage. Results: Hypothermic stress resulted in a significant release of transaminases and led to disturbances of the histological integrity, all indicating a high degree of cell damage. When compared with the control cultures, hyperthermia and mechanical stress in terms of vibration had no significant effect on the cells. Conclusion: The transport of hollow fiber bioreactors charged with viable primary human liver cells appears to be feasible in transport monitors for perfusion and temperature control.  

Transportability of bioreactors

"Blogs" and "Wikis" Are Valuable Software Tools for Communication Within Research Groups (Igor M. Sauer, Dominik Bialek, Ekaterina Efimova, Ruth Schwartlander, Gesine Pless, Peter Neuhaus) was published in the Januar 2005 issue of Artificial Organs, Volume 29 Issue 1 Pages 82-83  - January 2005. Appropriate software tools may improve communication and ease access to knowledge for research groups. A weblog is a website which contains periodic, chronologically ordered posts on a common webpage, whereas a wiki is hypertext-based collaborative software that enables documents to be authored collectively using a web browser. Although not primarily intended for use as an intranet-based collaborative knowledge warehouse, both blogs and wikis have the potential to offer all the features of complex and expensive IT solutions. These tools enable the team members to share knowledge simply and quicklythe collective knowledge base of the group can be efficiently managed and navigated.

Kichchadi sums up some further ideas on using RSS, blogs and wikis in research and education: here and here.
At CiteULike and "Weblogs in Higher Education" further information is available.

"Blogs" and "Wikis"

Drawn mainly from the collections of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, Dream Anatomy shows off the anatomical imagination in some of its most astonishing incarnations, from 1500 to the present:

In antiquity, the body's internal structure was the subject of speculation, fantasy, and some study, but there were few efforts to represent it in pictures. The invention of the printing press in the 15th century-and the cascade of print technologies that followed-helped to inspire a new spectacular science of anatomy, and new spectacular visions of the body. Anatomical imagery proliferated, detailed and informative but also whimsical, surreal, beautiful, and grotesque — a dream anatomy that reveals as much about the outer world as it does the inner self.
Fritz Kahn (1888-1968): Der Mensch als Industriepalast (Man as Industrial Palace), Stuttgart, 1926. Chromolithograph, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Kahn’s modernist visualization of the digestive and respiratory system as "industrial palace," really a chemical plant, was conceived in a period when the German chemical industry was the world’s most advanced.