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Extending liver storage time from 12 hours to 3 days before transplant with supercooling and machine perfusion

Rat studies suggest machine perfusion and supercooling can extend the
ex vivo life of livers for transplant. In the method, isolated livers were loaded with a solution containing a nonmetabolized glucose derivative via machine perfusion, cooled to 4° C, flushed with and immersed in University of Wisconsin preservation solution containing 5% polyethylene glycol and then slowly supercooled to -6° C. In transplant experiments, rats receiving livers that were machine perfused and supercooled for 72 or 96 hours survived for at least 3 months, whereas all rats receiving livers preserved for 72 hours by standard hypothermic methods died from liver failure within 2 days. Next steps include applying the procedure in pigs.

SciBX 7(29); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.878
Published online July 31, 2014

Patent applications filed covering supercooling preservation, machine perfusion recovery and quality assessment; technology will be licensed to Organ Solutions LLC

Berendsen, T.A. et al. Nat. Med.; published online June 29, 2014; doi:10.1038/nm.3588
Contact: Korkut Uygun, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.