Livers fooled into thinking they are still in the body
15 March 2013 Last updated at 17:06 GMT
More than 100 patients a year die waiting for a liver transplant.
Since 1994, Professor Constantin Coussios and Professor Peter Friend, both of Oxford University, have been working on the design for a machine that would enable a liver to keep functioning after it has been removed from a donor.
The organ is connected to a blood supply, fed with essential nutrients and kept at body temperature as if it had never left the body.
Professor Coussios demonstrated how his machine works to BBC Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh.