Keeping Organs Alive Outside the Body
At the University of Michigan, USA researchers have been working on a machine called the XVIVO Perfusion System, or XPS that is able to keep organs alive outside the body. This means that there would be a longer time period in which organs can be transported and then transplanted. It is being successfully tested right now with a pair of lungs taken from a pig.
All organs, once outside the body, quickly begin to deteriorate, but the human lungs are especially delicate organs. Only 20 percent of potential donor lungs are actually deemed useful by doctors, and without a system like the XPS, a pair of lungs can only be outside for 3 or 4 hours. Right now, the Food and Drug Administration, has approved the use of this machine in what they describe as “humanitarian” cases. These are the cases for which all other options are gone, and the machine is the patient’s last hope. It is envisaged that in the future, the XPS can be used to give doctors the time they need to determine if a pair of lungs is viable for donation, and it may also be able to give lungs time to heal before being transplanted to the recipient.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: XVIVO perfusion system, XPS, lung transplant, donor lungs