Artificial Liver

The McGowan Institute is developing an artificial liver — composed of both synthetic materials and live liver cells — that can filter blood like a natural liver. This device is designed to sustain a patient until a donor organ is available, or unburden the liver for a time so that it can heal. In an early clinical research study, 80 percent of those treated with the artificial liver survived until a donor organ was found or recovered liver function.

Liver transplantation (which UPMC surgeons helped to make feasible) is the standard of care for many liver diseases. But donor organs are scarce, and some people succumb to liver failure before a donor is found. Our research will provide assistance while new therapies incorporating stem cells, gene therapy, or engineered tissues are employed to repair or replace the damaged organ.

The artificial liver is now being prepared for the next stage of clinical studies.

​Contact Us

McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
450 Technology Drive
Suite 300
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Read information on campus shuttles »

Phone: 412-624-5500
Fax: 412-624-5363


Additional Resources

How Do I Get Treatment?
The artificial liver is not currently being used in patients, but UPMC physicians offer many advanced treatments for liver disease.

UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA |