The research of Scott L. Nyberg, M.D., Ph.D., is focused on the development of a multidisciplinary bioartificial liver program to improve the treatment of patients with liver failure and support the Mayo Clinic clinical liver transplant program.
His lab is also involved with regenerative medicine of liver disease as it pertains to treating patients in liver failure with extracorporeal bioartificial livers or implantable tissue-engineered livers, or treating patients with metabolic liver disease with hepatocyte transplantation.
- Extracorporeal artificial liver support systems. Dr. Nyberg's team has developed its own liver support system, the Mayo Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver. This system functions using normal hepatocytes produced in pigs. Clinical trial of the first generation device is in preparation under Food and Drug Administration oversight. Preclinical investigations involving a novel genetically engineered animal, the HT1 pig, are also in progress. The HT1 pig serves as an in vivo incubator for robust expansion of human hepatocytes.
- Mayo Clinic liver support program. Dr. Nyberg is the director of the Mayo Clinic liver support program, a multidisciplinary team that participated in the pivotal evaluation of the HepatAssist bioartificial liver system.
- Regenerative medicine. Dr. Nyberg is the leader of the Mayo Clinic Liver Regeneration Program.
Significance to patient care
The bioartificial liver is an important supportive therapy to bridge patients in liver failure to liver transplantation, or to avoid liver transplantation when spontaneous recovery is possible. Similar to hemodialysis in the treatment of kidney failure, the bioartificial liver functions outside of the patient's body. However, the bioartificial liver is a "hybrid" extracorporeal device in that it contains hepatocytes, most commonly of porcine or human origin, as a biological source of liver function.
Dr. Nyberg and his team expect that their research will lead to a "humanized" bioartificial liver device for clinical treatment of patients with liver failure.
- American Society of Transplant Surgeons-Pfizer Collaborative Scientist Grant, 2012-2014
- Coulter Translational Research Award, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, 2011-2013
- Chair, Surgical Research Committee, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., 2000-2011
- Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Adviser, Food and Drug Administration/Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, 2009
- Consultant, Food and Drug Administration/National Institute of Standards and Technology Workshop on Cell Scaffold Products, 2007
- Co-Chair, National Institutes of Health Workshop on Acute Liver Failure, 2006
- Special Section Editor (2000-2005) and Editorial Board Member (2000-present), Liver Transplantation
- Patents — Bioreactor Device with Application as a Bioartificial Liver (U.S. Patent No. 5,605,835); Spheroid Reservoir Bioartificial Liver (U.S. Patent No. 7,160,719); Fenestrated Funnel Bioartificial Liver (U.S. and international patents pending); Fah-Deficient Pigs and Uses Thereof (U.S. and international patents pending)