Thursday, August 14, 2014
A new supercooling technique that triples the time
livers can be preserved for transplant could make more livers available for
patients and increase the usability of donated organs for developing
regenerative therapies.1 Harvard Medical School
and spinout Organ Solutions LLC
are extending the studies from rats to larger species and scaling up the method in
preparation for an FDA
submission next year.
When organs are recovered from donors, they are stored
in a cold organ-preservation solution and transported to the recipient
hospital. Although cryopreservation has been attempted as a way to extend organ
viability, the extreme temperatures involved cause too much tissue damage to
organs intended for transplantation.
Machine perfusion, which involves ex vivo artificial circulation, is
used routinely for kidneys and short-term organ recovery after injury.
The team also plans to use the supercooling SNMP
technology to increase the number of human hepatocytes that can be used both in
research and for developing bioartificial livers-bioreactors that perform the
functions of a normal liver.
Donner, A. SciBX 7(31); doi:10.1038/scibx.2014.915
Published online Aug. 14, 2014
1. 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.
Contact: Martin L. Yarmush, same affiliation as above
2. Bruinsma, B.G. et al. Am. J. Transplant. 14,
AND INSTITUTIONS MENTIONED
Food and Drug Administration, Silver Spring, Md.
Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
Liver Cell Therapies Inc., Rochester, Minn.
Organ Solutions LLC, Wilmington, Del.
Partners HealthCare, Boston, Mass.
Rutgers University, Piscataway, N.J.
University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands
University of Oxford, Oxford, U.K.
Vital Therapies Inc. (NASDAQ:VTL), San Diego, Calif.