Rex E. Jeffries and Jeffrey M. Macdonald
MR-compatible bioartificial liver (BAL) studies have been performed for thirty years and are reviewed. There are two types of studies: (1) metabolism and drug studies using multinuclear MRS and these have primarily been short-term (<8hr) studies, and (2) the use of multinuclear MRS and MRI to non-invasively define features and functions of BAL systems for long-term liver tissue engineering. In the later, these systems often undergo not only modification of the perfusion system, but also construction of MR radiofrequency probes around the bioreactor. We present novel MR-compatible BALs and the use of multinuclear NMR spectroscopy (13C, 19F, 31P) for their non-invasive monitoring of growth, metabolism, and viability, as well as 1H MRI methods for determining type of flow profiles, diffusion, cell distribution, quality assurance, and bioreactor integrity. Finally, a simple flexible coil design and circuit, and life support system is described that can make nearly any BAL MR-compatible.