Liver transplant research at Mayo Clinic

Doctors at Mayo Clinic research liver transplant innovations to improve care.

Mayo Clinic scientists, doctors and surgeons develop liver transplant insights and innovations that make transplants safer and available to more people. They conduct laboratory studies, clinical trials and other research on many aspects of conditions related to liver transplantation, such as:

  • Bioartificial liver. This innovation helps patients cope as they await a donor liver. Developed by Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers, new bioartificial livers use living cells from pig livers to filter a patient's blood in a process similar to that of kidney dialysis. The device is being tested before it becomes available in clinics and hospitals.
  • Pulmonary complications of liver disease. Research into the causes and possible treatments of pulmonary artery high blood pressure may allow safe liver transplant in some people.
  • Magnetic resonance elastography. This innovative technology was developed by Mayo Clinic doctors and researchers as a noninvasive way to test for liver scarring. Someday it may reduce the need for liver biopsies in people with liver disease.
  • Immunosuppressive medications. One of many studies in this area examines the effect of antibody-mediated injury in liver-kidney transplants and how doing a multiorgan transplant may actually result in better outcomes. Mayo Clinic is also working with Transplant Genomics Inc. to develop, validate and commercialize diagnostic tests enabling personalized immunosuppression for solid organ transplant recipients.
  • Maximizing organ donors. Mayo transplant surgeons found that liver cancer patients have the same beneficial outcomes using organs donated by patients who died of cardiac death rather than brain death.
  • Cell therapies for liver disease. This research offers potential new treatments for several liver diseases and may improve the success of liver transplantation.
  • Triage system. Mayo Clinic researchers originally proposed, designed and tested the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD). This system prioritizes people waiting for a transplant based on the severity of their condition and how urgently they may need a transplant.

Mayo Clinic's researchers often collaborate with colleagues throughout the United States and internationally who are committed to improving outcomes and care for people with liver disease.

You may have the opportunity to participate in clinical trials. Read more about the many liver transplant research studies supported by the Transplant Research Center.

Liver subspecialty laboratories

Liver pathobiology

Liver regeneration


See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic authors on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

Lowering rejection in organ transplant

Watch Mark Stegall, M.D., and Richard Daly, M.D., discuss lowering rejection risk in organ transplants.

Research Profiles

Aug. 23, 2023