Test flights of drones for transporting human organs and tissues
Drones could be the answer to rapid transportation of organs and tissues in the future. MissionGO, a provider of unmanned aviation solutions, and the Nevada Donor Network, an organ procurement organisation in USA, carried out two successful test flights of drones carrying a human organ and tissue in Las Vegas. These were meant for research purposes only. The first test flight on 17th September 2020 transported corneas from one hospital to another about 4 km away. On the same day, a second test flight transported kidneys from an airport to a location outside a small town in the Las Vegas desert, a distance of about 16 km. Researchers took biopsies before and after the flight and said that there were no changes to the tissue architecture and cell viability. In times of a pandemic like the current COVID-19 pandemic the number of commercial flights available are reduced affecting the transport of organs. It could also lead to an increased discard rate of organs since the organs stay viable for a short period of time only. Drones could circumvent this and increase the number of organs utilised. They also could shorten transportation time and improve the chances of organ function after transplant when contending with heavy traffic in some areas. The weight that the drone can carry is a limiting factor since ice is required to pack the organ. Work also needs to be done on GPS software to monitor the quality of the flight during transport so that there is no damage to the precious organ that has been donated.
- Copyright © 2021. Published by MOHAN Foundation
- Keywords: MissionGo, Nevada Donor Network, discard rate of organs, rapid transportation of organs and tissues, drones for transporting human organs, GPS software