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Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources
Combining reports, research findings and topic reviews
Curated by Deborah Verran
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Bionic reconstruction gives men first prosthetic hands controlled by mind

Bionic reconstruction gives men first prosthetic hands controlled by mind | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Three Austrians have had their injured limbs amputated, then nerves and muscles have been transplanted from the leg to the arm in each case so that the patients could learn to control their new prosthetic hands.

 

This is the online report summarizing the results of research that has just been published online in the medical journal The Lancet. This new approach to replacing damaged limbs with a hybrid of the patients own tissues and robotic type technology appears to be extremely promising.

 

A video of the functional results with use of the new bionic arm in practice can be viewed via the link which can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline or via the following link-

http://www.theguardian.com/science/video/2015/feb/25/world-first-bionic-hand-controlled-by-mind-video

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Extraordinary development. This approach avoids the risks associated with life long anti-rejection therapy which is required for patients who may instead undergo arm transplantation.

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Don't Take 'No' for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations in the USA

Don't Take 'No' for an Answer: An Experiment with Actual Organ Donor Registrations in the USA | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Results of this research by Judd E. Kessler and Alvin B Roth outline the impact of active choice on decision making with respect to organ donation. Some of the findings may come as a surprise.

 

It appears that there are a number of findings that emanate from this research-

 

a) it is useful to encourage people to join organ donor registries

b) it is important to keep asking the question about organ donation

c) however active choice can also lead to a downside which is manifest by the rate of 'family refusals' at the time that the potential scenario then becomes a reality

Deborah Verran's insight:

Thoughtful analysis of an important issue posted online via Harvard Business. Professor Alvin Roth is a Nobel Prize laureate.

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Kidney transplant patients live longer than those in intensive home hemodialysis - Medical Xpress

Kidney transplant patients live longer than those in intensive home hemodialysis - Medical Xpress | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Analysis of data from a research study performed in Canada has revealed that Kidney transplant patients live longer than those receiving intensive home hemodialysis.

 

A first-ever study from a large Canadian centre has found that kidney

transplant recipients lived longer and had better treatment success regardless of what type of donor kidney that they received. 'Kidney transplant is still the best treatment option says Dr Chris Chan (pictured) who is a nephrologist at the Toronto General Hospital.

 

To read more about the findings of this study, click on the banner headline.

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Muslim Beliefs May Sway Attitudes Concerning Organ Donation - PsychCentral.com

Muslim Beliefs May Sway Attitudes Concerning Organ Donation - PsychCentral.com | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This online report of research conducted in the United States concludes that muslim beliefs may sway attitudes of some members of the community when it comes to Organ Donation.

 

American Muslims who view negative events as punishment from God are more likely to think that organ donation is unethical.

 

This study highlights the complex interplay that exists between religious beliefs and community attitudes when it comes to decision making around organ donation.

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Important findings of relevance to healthcare professionals involved with organ donation

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Long-term Survival Possible for Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients - Newswise (press release)

Long-term Survival Possible for Pediatric Heart Transplant Patients - Newswise (press release) | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Via the Society of Thoracic Surgeons comes these two press releases on the long term outcomes of heart transplantation. 

 

In one study Hannah Copeland, MD and colleagues from Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, CA, reviewed the medical charts of 337 pediatric heart transplant recipients. To read more click on the banner headline.

 

The second press release on the long term outcomes of adult heart transplant recipients can be viewed by clicking on the following link-

http://www.newswise.com/articles/heart-transplant-success-improving-patients-living-longer?ret=/articles/list&category=medicine&page=1&search%5Bstatus%5D=3&search%5Bsort%5D=date+desc&search%5Bsection%5D=10&search%5Bhas_multimedia%5D=

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

The outcomes following heart transplantation continue to improve with many patients now surviving up to 20 years following the procedure.

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When the living and the deceased don't agree on organ donation - Medical Xpress

When the living and the deceased don't agree on organ donation - Medical Xpress | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

What are the  possible outcomes when family members are not in agreement with the previous expressed wishes of a potential organ donor? What does this mean in practice?

 

This report titled 'When the living and the deceased don't agree on organ donation' is of the results of a survey performed of the Directors of 58 Organ Procurement Organizations in the United States.

 

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the 2006 Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (UAGA) or enacted similar legislation giving individuals the "First Person Authorization'. So what impact does this have in practice when healthcare professionals are faced with a variance in opinion between the family members of a potential organ donor and the donors' previously stated wishes? Click on the banner headline to read a summary of the results of the survey.

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In Type 1 Diabetes, Islet Transplantation Gains Momentum - UCSF News Services

In Type 1 Diabetes, Islet Transplantation Gains Momentum - UCSF News Services | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This report via UCSF News Services summarises the field of Islet Transplantation for Type 1 diabetes. 

 

The report is written from the perspective of researchers who are employed in this institution. However there is a good summary on recent progress which has been made as well as why there are still challenges with islet transplantation.

Deborah Verran's insight:

In highly selected individuals with Type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation may be of benefit.

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Kidney Donor May Have Passed On Skin Cancer - MedPage Today

Kidney Donor May Have Passed On Skin Cancer - MedPage Today | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Ground breaking research is summarized in this online article providing evidence that a Kidney Donor may have passed on skin cancer to their recipient.

 

The report is of research published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. This is the first convincing evidence of a direct contribution from the kidney donor to the recipients skin cancer. Cells from the skin tumour in the recipient were found to contain the donor genotype.

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

This will need to be confirmed with further research. The implications being that skin cancer in kidney transplant recipients may be a more complex entity than previously thought.

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With Split Grafts, A Donor's Liver Can Save Two Lives - Medical Daily

With Split Grafts, A Donor's Liver Can Save Two Lives - Medical Daily | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

With Split Grafts, A Donor's Liver Can Save Two Lives
as reported via the Medical Daily


Split liver transplantation carries no increased risk of failure in either of the two recipients, according to a new study of data from the United States recently published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Deborah Verran's insight:

This is an important option which facilitates liver transplantation in small children

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JCI - Evidence of premature immune aging in patients thymectomized during early childhood

JCI - Evidence of premature immune aging in patients thymectomized during early childhood | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This research article presents data indicative that patients who have undergone thymectomy at a young age may have impaired T- cell function.

 

Further research will provide answers on whether this translates into a higher incidence of clinical infection with the passage of time 


Via Gilbert Faure au nom de l'ASSIM
Deborah Verran's insight:

Interesting result adding another piece to the puzzle which is the complex immune system in humans

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Nature | News Miniature human liver grown in mice - Nature.com

Nature | News Miniature human liver grown in mice - Nature.com | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported via the science journal Nature,  news that miniature human liver buds have been grown in mice

This article has attracted a lot of attention, however this is a proof of concept study and as noted in the article 'the transplanted animals need to be observed for several more months to see whether the cells begin to degenerate or form tumours'.

 

As reported via The Guardian, there is hope in the future that this type of research will eventually lead to treatments that will help alleviate the requirement for livers from organ donors-

 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2013/jul/03/human-liver-stem-cell-treatment

Deborah Verran's insight:

This research only solves one piece of the complex puzzle of 'growing' organs in the laboratory. Hence in the short to medium term, liver transplantation will require that the organs are sourced from organ donors.

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Non-adherence among teen heart transplant recipients widespread, often fatal - ScienceBlog.com (blog)

Non-adherence among teen heart transplant recipients widespread, often fatal - ScienceBlog.com (blog) | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This study looks at medication non-adherence among teen heart transplant recipients and finds that it can be widespread, and is often often fatal as reported via ScienceBlog.com (blog)

 

The study, published online June 4 by the Journal of Heart and Lung Transplantation, looked at eight years' worth of data from the Organ Procurement & Transplant Network in the United States...

Deborah Verran's insight:

Non-adherance with taking the vital immunosuppressive medications post organ transplantation can cost young recipients vital years of life and in the worst cases is rapidly fatal

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Icing Organs | The Scientist Magazine®

Icing Organs | The Scientist Magazine® | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This article explores why scientists are so near and yet so far from being able to cryopreserve organs.

 

This includes an explanation of how cryopreservation works, a summary of the research to date as well as why the anticipated success has not as yet been realised for organ preservation.

 

The majority of organs for transplantation continue to be kept under static cold storage( 4 degrees celsius) conditions. Machine preservation is also being used but is not as yet widespread and is now the subject of ongoing clinical research.

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Organ donation: is an opt-in or opt-out system better?

Organ donation: is an opt-in or opt-out system better? | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it


Around the world, organ donation policies vary greatly between countries. So is it better to have a donation system where people have to opt in or one where they opt out?

 

This question was asked recently by some researchers in the United Kingdom. They examined the rates of organ donation in a number of countries around the world according to whether opt in or opt out types of legislation were in place.

 

There appears to be higher rates of deceased donor organ donation in countries with an opt out system whilst the opposite was true for living donation. As outlined in this article there are other factors which contribute to the rates of organ donation both within and between countries.

 

The ex CEO of BC Transplant in Canada (Bill Barrable) outlines why moving to a presumed consent system was not supported back in time within Canada -

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-debate/organ-donation-the-perils-of-presumed-consent/article20783431/?__scoop_post=2cd7f780-450d-11e4-a362-001018304b75&__scoop_topic=543333#__scoop_post=2cd7f780-450d-11e4-a362-001018304b75&__scoop_topic=543333

 

Finally, the results of some recently published research on whether there is a region of the brain which can be identified to be associated with altruism in live kidney donors can be viewed via this link-

 

http://www.medicaldaily.com/organ-donor-brains-bigger-region-linked-altruism-neural-roots-generosity-303638?__scoop_post=e685b850-4244-11e4-f327-001018304b75&__scoop_topic=543333#.VB_emdJ6-m4.twitter

 

 

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

The rates of organ donation within and between countries represent the end result of many factors which all need to be in place in order for optimal rates of organ donation to be sustained.

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NIH-funded researchers extend liver preservation for transplantation - EurekAlert (press release)

NIH-funded researchers extend liver preservation for transplantation - EurekAlert (press release) | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported online via EurekAlert is the news that NIH-funded researchers in the United States may have developed a new method for extending liver preservation for transplantation.

 

Transplants of skin, kidneys, hearts, lungs, corneas, and livers have become commonplace but due to a shortage of donor organs not all potential transplant recipients will receive a transplant in time.

 

Rat livers where able to be preserved for an extended period of time using a new super cooling method which is described in more detail in the report(click on banner headline).

 

For a more detailed report click on the following link to the NIH press release-

 

http://www.nih.gov/news/health/jun2014/nibib-30.htm

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

More research is now required to see whether this new process can be adapted for the cold preservation of human livers to allow for extended periods of storage prior to transplantation

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'Change rules on baby organ donors' - MSN UK

'Change rules on baby organ donors' - MSN UK | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

The results of a study published online in a medical journal have led experts to call for a 'Change to the rules on small baby organ donors' within the United Kingdom (UK). Because of the current limitation on the lower age limit for small paediatric organ donors, in the  UK a baby in need of a life saving heart donation - where only small newborn hearts are suitable for transplant - often needs to wait until a donor organ is flown in from somewhere else.

 

To read more about the research behind this story click on the banner headline. For the press release from the hospital where this research was undertaken (Great Ormond Street in London) click on the following link-

 

http://www.gosh.nhs.uk/news/press-releases/2014-press-release-archive/great-ormond-street-hospital-study-highlights-untapped-potential-of-newborn-organ-donation-in-the-uk/

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Important research which may lead to changes being made to the current rules for peadiatric organ donation within the United Kingdom

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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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New proposal for the better allocation of donated livers in transplants

New proposal for the better allocation of donated livers in transplants | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Cordoba (Spain) have developed a system that measures compatibility between donors and the most serious receivers in liver transplants. 

 

This takes into account over 30 donor and recipient variables from a retrospective analysis of over 1,000 liver transplant procedures,

 

However as yet the new algorithm has not been prospectively validated. 

 

Click on the banner headline to read more about the research.

Deborah Verran's insight:

The matching of donor livers to recipients involves that a number of both donor as well as recipient variables be taken into consideration. Apart from blood group matching, size matching of the donor organ to the recipient as well as undertaking a risk assessment of the outcome of the planned transplant procedure are all important in practice.

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'Mini-kidney' structures generated from human stem cells for first time

'Mini-kidney' structures generated from human stem cells for first time | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Diseases affecting the kidneys represent a major and unsolved health issue worldwide. The kidneys rarely recover function once they are damaged by disease, highlighting the urgent need for better knowledge of kidney development and physiology.

 

Hence the impetus to "grow" or assemble kidneys in the laboratory. This report is of research performed at the Salk institute which has involved the use and manipulation of pulripotent stem cells  to from small 'kidney buds' under laboratory conditions.

Deborah Verran's insight:

This represents the preliminary stages of research which will ultimately need to translate into viable organs that have both adequate and sustained function to ensure successful transplantation into humans. Also important quality and safety issues will need to be met

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Ferritin plays central role in kidney damage by controlling iron - UAB News

Ferritin plays central role in kidney damage by controlling iron - UAB News | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It appears that Ferritin plays central role in kidney damage by controlling iron as reported via UAB News. In a research model a protein known as, ferritin, appears to protect the kidneys against a damaging after-effect of injury, heart failure or hardened arteries by controlling levels of iron, according to this research study...

Deborah Verran's insight:

Untangling the role of iron in the kidney, more complex than previously believed

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Could Redistricting Shorten The Wait For A Liver Transplant? - Huffington Post

Could Redistricting Shorten The Wait For A Liver Transplant? - Huffington Post | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Could Redistricting Shorten The Wait For A Liver Transplant?
Reported via the Huffington Post

Where you live can affect your chances of getting a liver transplant, as well as your risk of dying while waiting, if you live in the United States.

 

Analysis of organ donor rates versus time spent waiting for a donor liver have revealed that there is indeed variation across the United States in waiting times for a liver transplant.

 

Why this may be the case and what could be done to try and address this variation is also outlined in the article.

 

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Interesting article which attempts to address a complex issue

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Neurosurgery Blog: Views of Pediatric Intensive Care Physicians on the Ethics of Organ Donation After Cardiac Death*

Neurosurgery Blog: Views of Pediatric Intensive Care Physicians on the Ethics of Organ Donation After Cardiac Death* | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
Views of Pediatric Intensive Care Physicians on the Ethics of Organ Donation After Cardiac Death*

Critical Care... http://t.co/TwuJO6eV16
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Beating new life into a heart transplant - Medical Xpress

Beating new life into a heart transplant - Medical Xpress | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported online via Medical Xpress is this article: Beating new life into a heart transplant, which reports on research efforts within the United Kingdom.

 

The aim of this type of research is to explore how donor hearts which would not be medically suitable for transplantation, can then be 're-conditioned'.  This could lead to an increase in the number of donor hearts which are then utilised for transplantation.

 

As Professor James Neuberger, Associate Medical Director at NHS Blood and Transplant said: "Surgeons are very keen to transplant every donated organ that can be transplanted safely...

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Monkey makes medical history after having a successful liver transplant from a ... - Daily Mail

Monkey makes medical history after having a successful liver transplant from a ... - Daily Mail | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported in detail via the Daily Mail is this story of a monkey undergoing a liver transplant from a cloned pig. This is otherwise known as xenotransplantation.

The Tibetan macaque as pictured lies in an intensive care unit ten days after undergoing a liver transplant at the Xijing Hospital in Xian, China.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Previous attempts at xenotransplantation internationally have not usually led to long term survival of the recipient animals. Hence a further update on the longer term outcome will be important.

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Ex Vivo Lung Evaluation of Prearrest Heparinization in Donat... : Annals of Surgery

Ex Vivo Lung Evaluation of Prearrest Heparinization in Donat... : Annals of Surgery | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
Objective: To evaluate the effects of prearrest heparin administration on lung quality in a model of donation after cardiac death (DCD), and to assess the potential application of ex vivo lung perfusion (EVLP) in the identification of better grafts...
Deborah Verran's insight:

Publication of research indicating that pre-arrest (antemortem) intravenous heparin improves organ quality in DCD donors

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