Bio-artificial Liver Support System with nano-emulsion oxygen carrier

The CSIR and the University of Pretoria have developed a bioreactor system with perfluorocarbon nano-emulsion oxygen carrier that can be used in fields such as drug screening and for bio-artificial liver support.

Technical Field/Operating Unit or Centre:

Biotechnology, medical devices / CSIR Materials Science and Manufacturing

Business Opportunity:

Technology available for license

Technology Description: 

Acute liver failure still has an 80% mortality rate, and liver transplants are currently the only real solution available.  There is also a general shortage of donor organs.  The CSIR and the University of Pretoria have developed a Bioartificial Liver Support Systems which contains a liver cell (hepatocyte) bio-reactor. The patient’s blood plasma is circulated through this system for the cells to perform metabolic, regulatory and clearance functions.

Several patents have been granted and a strong research platform also exists. The key aspect of the core invention is a nano-emulsion oxygen carrier based on perfluorocarbons. This has other potential applications, including in organ preservation (warm perfusion of organs for transplant), which is being explored via further collaborations.


  • Bio-artificial liver support
  • 3D Cell-culturing
  • Drug screening
  • Tissue engineering

Benefits / Advantages:

Use of PFC for oxygenation of cells provides support for high-density cell culture with increased cell function.


Patents covering the BALSS have been granted in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, UK, Netherlands, China, India, Italy, Korea, South Africa and the USA.  A patent application is pending in Brazil.

Contact:  Delon Mudaly


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