41st Annual Congress of the ESAO in Rome
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Prof. Celestino Pio Lombardi, Gemelli Polyclinics, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome, and Prof. Gerardo Catapano organize the 41st Annual Congress of the European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) in Rome, Italy.

The 41st ESAO Congress will be focused on “Patient happiness: the Holy Grail of organ substitution”, and will be held on September 17-20, 2014 at the Giovanni XXIII congress center located inside the Gemelli Polyclinics in Rome, Italy. The meeting is expected to attract aprox. 600 participants with both clinical and technical expertise from all over the world.
The objective of the Congress is to bring together scientists with different backgrounds working at the development, optimization and translation to the clinics of treatments of organ deficits based on the use of artificial, bioartificial, and cell-based organs or prostheses, and to discuss the importance of technical, psychological and ethical issues to the happiness of patients with serious tissue or organ deficits so as to re-define the design criteria of devices and treatments.
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ESAO 2013 in Glasgow
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The XXXX ESAO Congress took place in Glasgow, September 11th - 14th, 2013. This year we had three oral presentations focussing on our latest results in decellularization and recellularization of the liver. Ben Strücker presented our latest results on „Improved rat liver decellularization by arterial perfusion under oscillating surrounding pressure“. Antje Butter and Karl Hillebrandt gave two oral presentations during the yESAO Rapid Fire Session on „Proprietary rat liver decellularization device utilizing oscillating surrounding pressure to improve micro perfusion within the organ“ and Pig liver decellularisation through portal vein and hepatic artery perfusion under oscillating surrounding pressure“.
Furthermore, Karl Hillebrandt received the „2. Prize for the best Poster“!
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IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
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The 35th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC’13) will take place 3-7 July 2013, at the Osaka International Convention Center, in Osaka, Japan.
The conference will cover diverse topics such as biomedical engineering, healthcare technologies, and medical and clinical applications.
The ESAO will be represented via a minisymposium entitled "Artificial Organs for Metabolic Support. The most Challenging Problems". Jan Wojcicki will give a presentation on "Artificial Organs for Metabolic Support: The Most Challenging Problems of Artificial Pancreas", Bernd Stegmayr on "Artificial Organs for Metabolic Support: The Most Challenging Problems in Severe Kidney Injury When Dialysis Is Necessary" and Igor Sauer on "Artificial Organs for Metabolic Support: The Most Challenging Problems of Liver Support".
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XXXX ESAO Congress in Glasgow
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The European Society for Artificial Organs (ESAO) invites you to the XXXX ESAO Congress of the society to be held in Glasgow (Scotland, UK), September 11th-14th 2013.The motto of the ESAO congress will be 'lab to patient - from concept to treatment.
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Presentations at EASO 2012 in Rostock, Germany
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This year members of the team gave the following presentations:

“Liver: Current regenerative strategies and future solutions for the liver" (N. Raschzok, oral presentation)
"Neohybrid liver graft - a novel concept of in vivo tissue-engineering" (S. Rohn, oral presentation)
"Micro RNAs in liver regeneration: the mysterious MIR-352" (L. Lisboa, oral presentation)
"Micron-sized iron oxide particles for detection and loco-regional stimulation of transplanted liver cells" (A. Leder, oral presentation)
"Prospective validation of cross organ serum protein biomarkers – Initial results with CXCL9 and CD44 for diagnosis of acute liver rejection" (K.A. Prabowo, poster presentation)
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SPAD in children with acute liver failure
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Hannelore Ringe published the investigations concerning the applicability, efficacy, and safety of single-pass albumin dialysis in children ("Continuous veno-venous single-pass albumin hemodiafiltration in children with acute liver failure." Pediatr Crit Care Med. 2010 Oct 1. [Epub ahead of print]). Co-authors are Varnholt V, Zimmering M, Luck W, Gratopp A, König K, Reich S, Sauer IM, Gaedicke G, and Querfeld U.
The paper reports on a retrospective data review of uncontrolled clinical data of an university-based pediatric intensive care unit collaborating with a local center for liver transplantation. Nine children, aged 2 to 15 yrs, who were treated with single-pass albumin dialysis for acute liver failure of various origins under a compassionate-use protocol between 2000 and 2006. All patients met high-urgency liver transplantation criteria. Single-pass albumin dialysis was performed as rescue therapy for children with acute liver failure. The decrease in hepatic encephalopathy (grades 1-4) and the serum levels of bilirubin, bile acids, and ammonium were measured to assess the efficacy of detoxification. As a measure of liver synthesis function, thromboplastin time and fibrinogen were analyzed. The safety of the procedure was assessed by documenting adverse effects on mean arterial blood pressure, platelet count, and clinical course. Seven out of nine patients were bridged successfully to either native organ recovery (n = 1) or liver transplantation (n = 7), one of them twice. Six out of nine patients undergoing single-pass albumin dialysis (ten treatments) survived. In six patients, hepatic encephalopathy could be reduced at least by one degree. Ammonium, bilirubin, and bile acid levels decreased in all patients. One patient had an allergic reaction to albumin. In childhood acute liver failure, treatment with single-pass albumin dialysis was generally well tolerated and seems to be effective in detoxification and in improving blood pressure, thus stabilizing the critical condition of children before liver transplantation and facilitating bridging to liver transplantation. It may be beneficial in avoiding severe neurologic sequelae after acute liver failure and thereby improve survival. Single-pass albumin dialysis is an inexpensive albumin-based detoxification system that is easy to set up and requires little training. Whether and to what extent single-pass albumin dialysis can support children with acute liver failure until native liver recovery remain unclear.
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Presentations at this year´s XXXVII ESAO Congress
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At this year's XXXVII ESAO Congress, in Skopje. R. Macedonia, Wiebke Werner and Nathanael Raschzok gave oral presentations.
Nathanael Raschzok presented data on "In vitro evaluation of magnetic resonance imaging contrast agents for labeling of human liver cells" (N. Raschzok, D. A. Muecke, M. Adonopoulou, N. Billecke, A. Zielinski, W. Werner, U. Teichgraeber, I. M. Sauer). Wiebke Werner reported on "Temporal microRNA gene expression profiles of the regenerating rat liver after partial hepatectomy" (W. Werner, N. Raschzok, H. Sallmon, N. Billecke, C. Dame, P. Neuhaus, I. M. Sauer), a joint project of the Department of Neonatology, Charité, and our group.
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ESAO 2009 - presentations
At the XXXVI Annual Meeting of the European Society for Artificial Organs ESAO 2009 in Compiègne/France the following projects have been presented by members of our group:

Tracking of transplanted liver cells via clinical 3.0 tesla MRI A. Zielinski, K. Steinz, N. Raschzok, N. Billecke, N. Kammer, M.H. Morgul, M. Adonopulou, S. Schmeisser, J. Pinkernelle, W. Ruedinger, U. Teichgraeber, I.M. Sauer
Evaluation of application sites for liver cell transplantation in a large animal model K. Steinz, A. Zielinski, N. Raschzok, N. Billecke, N.N. Kammer, M.H. Morgul, M. Adonopulou, L. Morawietz, W. Rüdinger, I.M. Sauer
Methylprednisolone and tacrolimus prevent hypothermia induced endothelial dysfunction - possible use in transplantation surgery K.R.L. Schmitt, A. Diestel, N. Billecke, F. Berger, I.M. Sauer
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Our manuscript "Depletion of donor dendritic cells ameliorates immunogenicity of both skin and hind limb transplants" has been accepted for publication in Frontiers in Immunology, section Alloimmunity and Transplantation. Authors are Muhammad Imtiaz Ashraf, Joerg Mengwasser, Anja Reutzel-Selke, Dietrich Polenz, Kirsten Führer, Steffen Lippert, Peter Tang, Edward Michaelis, Rusan Catar, Johann Pratschke, Christian Witzel, Igor M. Sauer, Stefan G. Tullius, and Barbara Kern.

Acute cellular rejection remains a significant obstacle affecting successful outcomes of organ transplantation including vascularized composite tissue allografts (VCA). Donor antigen presenting cells (APC), particularly dendritic cells (DC), orchestrate early alloimmune responses by activating recipient effector T cells. Employing a targeted approach, we investigated the impact of donor-derived conventional DC (cDC) and APC on the immunogenicity of skin and skin-containing VCA grafts, using mouse models of skin and hind limb transplantation.
By post-transplantation day 6, skin grafts demonstrated severe rejections, characterized by predominance of recipient CD4 T cells. In contrast, hind limb grafts showed moderate rejection, primarily infiltrated by CD8 T cells. While donor depletion of cDC and APC reduced frequencies, maturation, and activation of DC in all analysed tissues of skin transplant recipients, reduction in DC activities was only observed in the spleen of hind limb recipients. Donor cDC and APC depletion did not impact all lymphocyte compartments but significantly affected CD8 T cells and activated CD4 T in lymph nodes of skin recipients. Moreover, both donor APC and cDC depletion attenuated the Th17 immune response, evident by significantly reduced Th17 (CD4+IL-17+) cells in the spleen of skin recipients and reduced levels of IL-17E and lymphotoxin-α in the serum samples of both skin and hind limb recipients. In conclusion, our findings underscore the highly immunogenic nature of skin component in VCA. The depletion of donor APC and cDC mitigates the immunogenicity of skin grafts while exerting minimal impact on VCA.




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