• Alginate beads;
  • Hepatocytes;
  • Fluidization;
  • Liver support system

Many bioartificial livers have been developed, but most of them suffer from difficulty when being scaled up and from poor efficiency of mass transfer between the plasma and the immobilized hepatocytes. We present a new concept of bioartificial liver based on the fluidized bed motion of hepatocytes entrapped in alginate beads. The bioreactor is designed to offer stable behavior. The maximum fluid perfusion velocity is determined to avoid any bead release from the bioreactor. The fluidized bed height depends on the amount of beads and the velocity employed. Under the optimized operating conditions, the mass transfer between perfusion fluid and beads is very efficient; only 10 min are necessary to reach concentration equilibrium. Hence, this fluidized bed bioartificial liver appears to be a promising tool for a liver support system in the treatment of acute liver failure.