Transplant Organs Supercooled For Longer Storage
Human organs cannot be frozen without incurring irreversible damage to delicate tissues. However, without some type of cooling, donated organs rarely remain healthy for more than a day. The scientists involved in the current study injected rat livers with anti-freeze and a glucose compound, which allowed the organs to be saved for a prolonged period without actually freezing them to the -320.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-196 degrees) required for cryopreservation.
In the study, none of the rats, whose livers were transplanted using current methods, survived for at least three months. Meanwhile, all of the rats who received supercooled livers survived three months or more when the livers had been stored for three days or less. The survival rate for rats, whose supercooled livers had been stored for four days, was 58 percent.
Organ transplants are time-sensitive, precisely because of the limited number of hours that tissue can remain healthy in storage. The technology currently used to preserve organs uses chemicals and cold temperatures, but 24 hours is considered the maximum time to transport the donated organs from donor to recipient. By having a wider window of time to transport the organ and to prepare patients and doctors for transplant surgery, the urgency of the operation is greatly reduced.
There are thousands of people on organ transplant lists. In Britain alone, 7,000 people are waiting, with half unlikely to find a matching donor in the current year. By 2015, approximately 1,000 people will die waiting for a transplant of some kind. The new storage technique therefore has the potential to save lives if it becomes safe for human donor organs.
There is a worldwide organ donor shortage, exacerbated by transportation times. Considering the larger distances that can be covered in four days compared to 24 hours, transcontinental transplants of donated organs will be facilitated by the new storage technique. With more organs available on a global level, patients are more likely to find a compatible match based on factors such as age, blood type and genotype.
Future research will have to focus on animals larger than rats, but the breakthrough is being welcomed as promising news by scientists. In addition to expanding the preservation time and geographic reach of donor organs, new possibilities will be allowed to emerge about how organs can be used to benefit patients.
Source: The Telegraph
Published on : Thu, 3 Jul 2014
Print as PDF
The iLA Membrane Ventilator is an extrapulmonary ventilation system which is used primarily to remove carbon dioxide. The heart pumps blood through it as it does through a natural organ. The gas exchange takes place via a plasma-tight, heparin-coated...
Features The SynoVent E5 is the ventilator you need with the interface you want. It does not only include advanced ventilator functionality for patients ranging from infant to adult, but also a modern, easy-to-use interface. The display can be configured...
XENIOS AG is a medical device company with the three brands, novalung, i-cor and medos, that run on a single XENIOS platform. This platform enables next-generation therapies for lung and heart failure. No other company except XENIOS AG is offering lung...
NovaPort cannulas are designed specially to meet the needs of extracorporeal lung and heart support circuits and perioperative perfusion in minimally invasive heart surgery.All blood-contact surfaces of the NovaPort cannulas are coated with the bio- and...