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A Breakthrough development in an Indo-Japan joint research project for the

treatment of Acute Liver Failure


Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM), an Indo-Japan joint venture institute based at Chennai and Centre for Liver Research and Diagnosis, (CLRD) Owaisi Hospital, Hyderabad have jointly developed a novel method for treating acute liver failure, which was presented yesterday in the 4th Annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cells Research (http://www.isscr.org) held at Toronto, Canada by Dr. C.M. Habibullah of CLRD and Dr Samuel JK Abraham of NCRM. In their joint research which formally started last year, it has been revealed that acute liver failure can be treated much effectively using hepatocytes encapsulated in a Thermoreversible Gelation Polymer. The Thermogelation Polymer based Cell culture technology developed by Prof. Yuichi Mori and Dr Hiroshi Yoshioka (Professor and associate professor respectively in polymer sciences, Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan and also Scientific advisors & technical collaborators to NCRM) has been applied in this research.


Acute Liver Failure (ALF) affect thousands of patients in India every year. Major cause of ALF in India is Viral infection. There has been no definitive treatment available for such conditions except (i) A temporary rescue procedure such as Extracorporeal liver support called as MARS (Molecular Absorbent Recirculatory System) which is available only in a handful of centers in the country and (ii) Orthotopic liver transplantation, which is a highly technically demanding and expensive treatment, again performed only in a handful of centers in India, with a success rate of 60%. Dr C.M.Habibullah`s research team had earlier come out with a new idea of using the foetal liver (Taken from aborted fetuses with informed consent after approval by the ethics committee) in treating the diseases with successful outcome, though the foetal cells last only for a couple of days inside the body. But due to shortage of the foetal liver, this treatment has its own limitation. Now with this novel approach of using TGP encapsulated hepatocytes we have overcome those obstacle. We have proven that the expansion of the foetal liver substance in vitro (In the laboratory) and prolonging its life and functional capability in vivo (Inside the body) is possible using our technology in animal models. When this same principle can be applied to patients, this could save thousands of patients in India who suffer from Acute Liver Failure, if they come to the hospital early.


First time in the world:


This is the first time in the world that a non biological (Totally synthetic) material has been used as a substrate developed Prof. Mori et al., of Waseda University, Japan, to grow (cultivate) human foetal hepatic cells, cell lines and tissues including stem cells thereby paving a way for avoiding biological materials for this purpose and avoiding viral and other dangerous known and unknown contaminations in such biological materials as well as chances of rejections. In the past 18 years it has been proven with all the latest scientific parameters for their safety and efficacy.


Nichi-In Centre for Regenerative Medicine (NCRM)`s role in bridging the gap between India and Japan:


    NCRM has got technical collaborations with several Japanese institutes who have strong research and development background and Indian hospitals who have very good clinical skills. The major aim of NCRM is to develop clinically usable stem cells, progenitor cells and cells with regenerative capability, which are the backbone of Regenerative Medicine and to standardize protocols of application of the same in clinical treatment with such bilateral partnerships,. In this matter, NCRM`s core strength has been several synthetic cell substrates such as Thermogelation polymer, Hydro Gels, Nano composite materials and Nano-surface coated cell culture technology, all of them have been developed by various Japanese institutes in the past two decades. Apart from Acute Liver Failure, NCRM has also been involved in the Research of Corneal limbal stem cells with Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai, Corneal endothelial cell precursors with Joseph eye hospital, Trichy and Retinal Stem Cells with Aditya Jyot Eye Hospital, Mumbai

*"Nichi" stands for Japan and "In" stands for India. This institute started on an Indo-Japan collaboration now has spreaded further with global alliances
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