They manage to recover human lungs after connecting them to pigs

respiratory diseases are the third cause of death worldwide & nbsp; and the lung transplant it remains the only cure for patients suffering from this pathology and who are in a terminal phase. This is a procedure limited by the low availability of organs from healthy donors, but a study of the Columbia universities and Vanderbilt could change this scenario. “data-reactid =” 12 “> Respiratory diseases are the third leading cause of death worldwide and lung transplantation continues to be the only cure for patients suffering from this pathology and who are in a terminal phase This is a procedure limited by the low availability of organs from healthy donors, but a study by Columbia and Vanderbilt universities could change this scenario.

Currently, a method known as ex vivo pulmonary perfusion (EVLP) is used, which provides lung support outside the body and allows poor quality donor lungs to be recovered before transplantation. However, this procedure provides a limited duration of six to eight hours of support, too short a time to recover the donor lungs.

Human lung that failed EVLP (left) and was later recovered in cross circulation (right). Columbia University

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Before treatment, all of the lungs had many white areas, suggesting that the tissue was dying, and was not considered capable of carrying enough oxygen into the blood. But after 24 hours of being connected to the pigs, they discovered that the cells, tissue structure, and oxygen-delivering capacity of the lungs had significantly improved.

The researchers attributed this achievement to the physiological environment and the systemic regulation that this platform provides to the human lungs. In the past eight years, they have developed this method that seeks to provide more lungs to patients who need a transplant.

With this research, the multidisciplinary team showed that explanted human lungs that have been rejected for transplantation can be recovered on this cross-circulation platform, which successfully maintained lung integrity and resulted in functional organ recovery.

During the 24-hour cross circulation, the team observed substantial improvements in cell viability, tissue quality, inflammatory responses, and most importantly, respiratory function.

“We recovered a donor lung that was not recovered in the ex vivo pulmonary perfusion clinical system, which is the current standard of care. This was the most rigorous validation of our cross-circulation platform, showing great promise for its clinical utility, ”explained Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, professor of biomedical engineering and medical science at Columbia University.

The donor lung demonstrated persistent inflammation and fluid accumulation that could not be resolved, and was therefore rejected for transplantation by multiple transplant centers and was eventually offered for research. When received by the team, he had experienced two periods of cold ischemia totaling 22.5 hours, plus five hours of clinical EVLP treatment. After 24 hours in cross circulation, the lung showed functional recovery.

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