ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich launch Wyss Zurich
The Wyss Translational Center Zurich (also called Wyss Zurich) was established to bring together the excellence of ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich in the emerging fields of regenerative medicine and robotics. Wyss Zurich was made possible by a generous donation from the Swiss entrepreneur and philanthropist Dr. hc. mult. Hansjörg Wyss. The aim of the center is to speed up the translation of outstanding academic research into medical therapies and technological advancements. Wyss Zurich unites researchers across various disciplines, ranging from technology and medicine, to materials science, stem cell research and robotics. The Regenerative Medicine Technologies Platform of Wyss Zurich is a state-of-the-art technology technical and scientific platform, which provides the expertise required to respond to the unique and diverse challenges presented by the clinical translation of projects in the field of Regenerative Medicine.
Our project – Liver regeneration in the 21st century
Regeneration of the Human Liver outside of the Body
It is well known that the liver has the ability to regenerate. Liver resection (surgical removal of the diseased part of the liver) for the treatment of liver cancer has been carried out for a few decades, but many tumors are inoperable, notably because the removal of a too large piece of liver is fatal.
The Wyss Zurich project will develop a novel therapeutic strategy for liver regeneration consisting of:
i) surgical resection of a small healthy piece of the liver from the patient;
ii) growth of this piece outside of the body in a perfusion machine until a sufficient size is reached;
iii) retransplantation of the regenerated liver to the original patient while removing the remaining diseased part.
Current perfusion systems are not able to keep a liver alive outside of the body for a sufficient time to allow growth and regeneration to occur. The challenging aim of the project is to extend the viability of liver tissue outside of the body up to five days and allow its growth. To this end, a perfusion machine will be developed, which will provide necessary nutrients and oxygen supply, and be equipped to monitor growth, as well as assess the functional capacity of the liver.
For detailed information about the project please visit the website of the Wyss Translational Center Zurich