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Indian-origin doctor working on new organ preservation solution
Dr. Hemant Thatte, a senior cardiovascular surgeon at Harvard University, who was born in Mumbai and raised in Pune, has worked out a 21-chemical solution called SOMAH that could preserve a donated organ for up to a week before a transplant.
In October 2009, Dr. Thatte had published a paper in the medical journal Circulation, comparing SOMAH to a widely-used preservation solution to show how the rate of cell death was lower in the former. This research suggested hearts kept in SOMAH could be stored for up to a week as against other solutions that allow for only four hours. Organs retrieved from brain dead persons need to be transplanted within a specific time period so that the organ is not damaged. Therefore, the preservative solution that is used is of the utmost importance. At present, hearts and lungs need to be transplanted within 4-6 hours of being recovered from a brain dead donor, the liver within 12 hours and kidneys within a little more than 24 hours. Dr. Thatte believes SOMAH's biggest advantage is that it can be used at room temperatures. “If we physicians can maintain an organ in the same energy status it was used to before being retrieved, the organ is in a better state when transplanted. It can get into rhythm sooner,” he said. However, SOMAH is still some time away from clinical trials. Dr. Thatte has worked in Harvard for more than two decades. Over a decade ago, he synthesized a solution called GALA that could preserve blood vessels used as bypass channels during heart surgeries. GALA is in use across the US and France.
- Shroff S, Navin S. Indian-origin doctor working on new organ preservation solution. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 13 Issue No.: 40 (Nov 2013-Feb 2014)
- Shroff S, Navin S. Indian-origin doctor working on new organ preservation solution. Indian Transplant Newsletter Vol. 13 Issue No.: 40 (Nov 2013-Feb 2014). Available at:
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- Keywords: Indian origin doctor, Organ preservation solution