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Vital Therapies, Inc. (VTI)' Artificial Liver--Part Man, Part Machine--Aims At People Who Need Help Fast



1/29/2009 4:40:08 PM

Forbes -- Nursing student Amy Petrovic Best came within hours of death nine years ago. A mysterious virus infected her liver and in three days destroyed much of the organ. It would take days to find a transplant, but she didn't have that much time. But she was in luck. Researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center had begun testing an experimental machine that can temporarily take over liver function in cases like hers. Medics rushed Best by helicopter 70 miles to the hospital, where transplant surgeon J. Michael Millis hooked her jugular vein up to the gadget.

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