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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Could 3D printing solve the organ transplant shortage?

Could 3D printing solve the organ transplant shortage? | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Scientists are racing to make replacement human organs with 3D printers. But whilst the technology’s possibilities are exciting, already there are fears that they could be ‘playing God’


The headline of this article belies the reality of where this particular technology is now at in 2017. Although the limitations of the current technology are explored in the article the focus then switches to the possible ethical issues should this technology deliver the hoped for results.


However one of the more interesting facts which is not well known is that cosmetics giant L'Oreal has heavily invested in the bioprinting of skin. This is in order to have a more reliable mode for the testing of it's products in the laboratory setting.


Currently the stated time frames for the bioprinting of fully functional human organs are far longer than 5 years at the time of this post in 2017.


The image above is of a 3D printed silicone heart (ie artificial heart) developed in Zurch, which is featured in the following post-


http://sco.lt/6RyRhR

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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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UCLA Patient Is First in the World to Successfully Receive a new prototype of a total artificial Heart

UCLA Patient Is First in the World to Successfully Receive a new prototype of a total artificial Heart | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

It has been announced this last week that a 44-year-old woman has received a successful heart transplant at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in the United States, thanks to an experimental Total Artificial Heart designed for smaller patients.

 

This particular smaller model of the Syncardia prototype of the total artificial heart is the first one to have been successfully implanted into a smaller patient.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Another important step in the provision of total artificial heart transplants to patients who are in need

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'Heart in a box': Pioneering device keeps donor organs alive OUTSIDE the body

'Heart in a box': Pioneering device keeps donor organs alive OUTSIDE the body | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it


Traditionally, all donor organs are placed in a cool-box and surrounded by ice to prevent them deteriorating on their journey between hospitals.

 

However new technology in the form of transportable machines is

leading to changes in how some organs are maintained following their removal from the donor.

 

This report focuses on the preliminary experience with the use of normothermic machine preservation in the Harefield heart transplant programme in the United Kingdom

Deborah Verran's insight:

Another report on the preliminary use of machine preservation in heart transplantation. Further data from the prospective clinical trials that are currently being undertaken is now awaited

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Infographic: Where Will mHealth Be in 2024?

Infographic: Where Will mHealth Be in 2024? | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Ten years ago, mHealth as we presently know it didn’t exist. But ten years from now, its sophistication and utility may be far greater than anything we can presently envision.


Via Emmanuel Capitaine , Lionel Reichardt / le Pharmageek
Deborah Verran's insight:

A glimpse at the future of mobile technology which will be game changing in many areas including healthcare

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3D-printed pump keeps damaged hearts beating in time - health - 11 September 2013 - New Scientist

3D-printed pump keeps damaged hearts beating in time - health - 11 September 2013 - New Scientist | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

A new electronic pump could let people with heart failure live a normal life and prevent them being bedridden, waiting for transplants.

 

This particular device is being developed in the United Kingdom and currently reguires that some additional refinements be made. Only once the final version of this device has been finally emgineered will it be judged safe for the device to be trialled in selected patients.

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Evolving technology is leading to an ongoing refinement in the various forms of cardiac 'assist' devices that can be implanted into patients. In some cases use of such a device will be for the aim of bridging patients to a heart transplant.

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Air-Powered Robotic Sleeve Wraps Around Your Heart To Keep It Pumping

Air-Powered Robotic Sleeve Wraps Around Your Heart To Keep It Pumping | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it
Researchers from Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital have developed an innovative robotic sleeve that fits around the heart. As outlined in this online report  the device (pictured) has been successfully trialed in large animals and hence satisfies proof of concept criteria. However in order for the device to meet stringent regulatory standards prior to then being marketed it must now undergo prospective trials in humans.

One advantage of this particular device is that it wraps around the heart and hence is not in contact with circulating blood which can lead to other problems such as excessive clotting.

The relevant research article which has now been published in Science Translational Medicine can be accessed via the following link-

Deborah Verran's insight:
This is an interesting new type of cardiac assist device which now needs to be trialed in humans
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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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The BiVACOR artificial heart: developed in Queensland Australia

The BiVACOR artificial heart: developed in Queensland Australia | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

This story is about a new type of artificial heart which has been developed in Australia and is now being trialed in a large animal model. This type of heart is unusual in that the flow of blood is not intermittent, hence there is no pulse which can be detected in the recipient.

 

The full article contains information about the developers, the collaborative partnerships that have been required to ensure the research could get to this stage as well as more information about the device itself. This can be accessed by clicking on the banner headline.

 

The hope is that this type of device will ultimately be trialed in humans. If it is successful then it could be an alternative to conventional heart transplantation in selected cases.

Deborah Verran's insight:

Well put together article, containing fine graphics. A must read for anyone interested in medical technology

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ISHLT Announces Latest Results of both the NOVEL and the INSPIRE Lung Trials of EVLP

ISHLT Announces Latest Results of both the NOVEL and the INSPIRE Lung Trials of EVLP | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Two clinical research updates have been announced at the 2014 ISHLT meeting. Both involve the use of ex-vivo lung preservation technology. The Results of the NOVEL Lung Trial Show Great Promise at this stage and more info can be obtained by clicking on the banner headline.

 

The results of the INSPIRE Lung Trial can be accessed by clicking on the following link-

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/04/prweb11720765.htm

 

Deborah Verran's insight:

Early stages of understanding the place of ex-vivo lung preservation as an option for both managing and evaluating deceased donor lungs prior to transplantation

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Set Of Donor Lungs Preserved For 11 Hours Outside The Body - RedOrbit

Set Of Donor Lungs Preserved For 11 Hours Outside The Body - RedOrbit | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported via RedOrbit- Set Of Donor Lungs Preserved For 11 Hours Outside The Body.

 

The multidisciplinary transplant team at University Hospitals Leuven in Belgium successfully preserved a set of donor lungs for over eleven hours with the help of a machine, the. Organ Care Systems (OCS) device.

 

In this unusual case a combined liver and lung transplant procedure was required to deal with a patient with both acute liver failure and end stage lung disease. To facilitate the lung transplant being performed following the liver transplant procedure, the lungs required prolonged ex-vivo preservation via the OCS device.

Deborah Verran's insight:

One of an increasing number of cases where the OCS device is being used for ex-vivo lung preservation

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Artificial Wearable Lung to Help Patients be Mobile Before Transplant - Medgadget.com

Artificial Wearable Lung to Help Patients be Mobile Before Transplant - Medgadget.com | Organ Donation & Transplant Matters Resources | Scoop.it

Reported via Medgadget.com
Research into an artificial Wearable Lung to help patients be mobile prior to lung transplantation. 
 
Patients preparing for a lung transplant often end up bedridden for extended periods of time while awaiting surgery. Hence any advance in technology which could potentially extend the period patients wait whilst allowing them to remain mobile is very important.

 

This is a preliminary report of a device which will need to be trialled on patients.

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