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Liver diseases are characterized by four basic patho-
mechanisms, three of which are captured by traditional
clinical laboratory parameters: necrosis, cholestasis and
metabolic insufficiency. Fibrosis and its most pronounced
form, cirrhosis, however, have been impenetrable to non-
invasive diagnostics for a long time. With the advancement
of therapeutic options, the need for reliable diagnostics of
liver fibrosis has increased massively. However, it is dif-
ficult to develop biomarkers for the noninvasive staging
of liver fibrosis, because it is a component of the normal
healing process after injury, infection, and many other
etiological factors. For decades, liver biopsy has been the
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