Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
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Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
Combining reports, research findings and topic reviews
Curated by Deborah Verran
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Organovo to Test "Patches” for Patients Awaiting Liver Transplants | Xconomy

Organovo to Test "Patches” for Patients Awaiting Liver Transplants | Xconomy | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
San Diego-based biotech company Organovo has released a statement this last week that it plans to use its 3D bio-printing technology to produce living human liver tissue “patches” that can be ultimately used to treat patients with liver disease.

However as the article goes on to explain, there is a big difference between the bio-printing pf small parcels of liver tissue (as seen in the above image) and the bio-printing of a fully functional human liver. The technology as well as the know how to 3D print a complete human liver is felt to be at least a decade away at this stage.

In addition also in the bioengineering technology front has come the announcement that researchers are looking into developing a bioreactor which could be ultimately used to store human lungs outside of the body (ex-vivo) for up to 24 hours. This story can be viewed via the following link-



Deborah Verran's insight:
Despite the steady stream of news stories about 3D printing and bioprinting, the ability to manufacture whole organs for the purposes of transplantation remains a distant goal.
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U.S. To Invest $200 Million To Shorten Organ Transplant Wait Lists

U.S. To Invest $200 Million To Shorten Organ Transplant Wait Lists | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
The U.S. government announced plans this last week to invest $200 million to help shorten the waiting list for patients waiting for organ transplants.

With the per annum costs of dialysis now topping $34 billion per annum and with the majority of patients on the waiting list for an organ needing kidneys, there is a real need explore all possible options as well as optimize organ donation within the United States.

Although a significant component of the funding will go to Defense a number of new projects will now be undertaken. For more on this story click on the banner headline.

One project will involve initiating kidney transplant chains via the use of altruistic live donors at the Walter Reed hospital-


A collaborative research initiative between two academic medical centres and UNOS will seek to undertake prospective research into optimizing the management of deceased donors. This is in order to maximize the numbers of organs that are suitable for transplantation purposes- 


In addition UNOS is looking to optimize the use of electronic donor records in order to facilitate organ allocation as well as provide quarterly feedback to transplant programs-


The American Society of Nephrology has committed $7 million towards the development of an artificial implantable kidney via the XPRIZE initiative-


Finally in what may be termed a 'moonshot' NASA has announced a prize for the three most successful organizations who wish to attempt to grow tissues and or organs in space-





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Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab - Nature.com

Tissue engineering: Organs from the lab - Nature.com | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The body's organs are more complex than any factory. Attempts to mirror their physiology in the laboratory are now getting closer to capturing their individual intricacies.

 

This well written article outlines the gains that have been made with organ and tissue engineering, particularly the "organ on a chip" technology which is now increasingly being used for research and testing purposes.

 

However due to the inherent complexities in all of the human organs there is still a lot more in the way of research which needs to be undertaken. This is in order to allow step wise progress in the bioengineering of organs to be made.

Deborah Verran's insight:

The latest summary of this fascinating area of ongoing research.

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Microrobotic technique combines 3D printing and tissue engineering

Microrobotic technique combines 3D printing and tissue engineering | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and Carnegie Mellon University have introduced a unique micro-robotic technique to assemble the components of complex materials, the foundation of tissue engineering and 3D printing, described in the Jan. 28, 2014, issue of Nature Communications ("Untethered micro-robotic coding of three-dimensional material composition").

 

The presented approach uses untethered magnetic micro-robotic coding for precise construction of individual cell-encapsulating hydrogels (such as cell blocks). The micro-robot, which is remotely controlled by magnetic fields, can move one hydrogel at a time to build structures. This is critical in tissue engineering, as human tissue architecture is complex, with different types of cells at various levels and locations. When building these structures, the location of the cells is significant in that it will impact how the structure will ultimately function. "Compared with earlier techniques, this technology enables true control over bottom-up tissue engineering," explains Tasoglu.

 

Tasoglu and Demirci also demonstrated that micro-robotic construction of cell-encapsulating hydrogels can be performed without affecting cell vitality and proliferation. Further benefits may be realized by using numerous micro-robots together in bioprinting, the creation of a design that can be utilized by a bioprinter to generate tissue and other complex materials in the laboratory environment."

 

 


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
Deborah Verran's insight:

Another interesting step in the research that is being performed in the tissue engineering sphere. However there is a lot more research required before bioengineered tissues can be used for transplantation into humans

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Sieg Holle's curator insight, February 16, 2014 11:23 AM

Towards our age of abundance and self sufficiency and personal choice?

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Paolo Macchiarini: A surgeon’s downfall - BBC News

Paolo Macchiarini: A surgeon’s downfall - BBC News | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Ground-breaking work on synthetic tissue transplants made Paolo Macchiarini one of the most famous doctors in the world. Now his reputation lies in tatters.


This is the most comprehensive online article to date on this matter. It provides a summary on the chain of events which ultimately led to an external investigation of the research carried out at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden into trachea transplantation.


For anyone with an interest in the governance of organ and tissue transplantation this is a must read.

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Dialysis Patients Trial Wearable Artificial Kidney: Proof of concept study

Dialysis Patients Trial Wearable Artificial Kidney: Proof of concept study | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A couple of years ago the news broke about a new wearable dialysis machine about to go into clinical trial that is essentially an artificial kidney for cleansing and regulating levels of uraemic toxins in the blood. The device is worn on a belt around the patient's waist (as pictured).


Now the results of the pilot study undertaken in the United States have been made available. Although the portable artificial kidney functioned reasonably well, the limitations of the current device became apparent during the trial.


The full results of this important proof of concept study are published in the journal JCI Insight and make for interesting reading-


https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/86397


It is also now understood what are the limitations of the current dialysis modalities with respect to the clearance of uraemic toxins and how bioengineered solutions may make the process more efficient on the future. The following research has been published in the journal Nature-


http://www.nature.com/articles/srep26715





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Regenerative Medicine - JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association

Regenerative Medicine - JAMA:  The Journal of the American Medical Association | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This Viewpoint describes how regenerative medicine through advances in cell biology, biomaterial science, and biological molecule discovery can replace or regenerate human cells, tissues, and organs harmed by disease or injury. However the full replacement of solid organs remains at this stage a vision, with many barriers needing to be overcome via ongoing laboratory research.

 

The first page of the article can be viewed by clicking on the banner headline. The full article requires access to a subscription to JAMA or can be purchsed online

Deborah Verran's insight:

This is one of a steady stream of review articles appearing regularly in the scientific literature on this relatively new area in medicine.

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