The investigation of alternative sources of liver tissue for use in research

Livers are obtained from several sources. Liver tissue can be obtained from biopsies removed from patients undergoing surgery e.g. removal of hepatic tumours. During such biopsies a percentage of healthy tissue will be removed in addition to the cancerous tissue. This healthy tissue (as is, or appropriately processed) is suitable for use in novel drug metabolism studies.

Livers removed for transplant (multiorgan donor) may be subsequently found to be unsuitable for such a purpose and thus will be referred to us at UKHTB. This tissue can also be used as described previously.

Finally liver tissue may be obtained from non-heart beating donors (NHBD) i.e. patients who die in casualty or other and are not placed into ITU.