Archive for May, 2019

Major Advancement – Recovery of Severely Damaged Lungs Using Cellular Regeneration Methods

Thursday, May 23rd, 2019

Researchers at Columbia Engineering and Vanderbilt University, U.S.A are the first to demonstrate that severely damaged lungs can be removed, incubated and regenerated with cellular rejuvenation methods and then be ready for transplant into a recipient.

Currently, up to 80% of donor lungs are rejected. Since the beginning of transplantation in 1960s, clinicians and scientists have been trying to address the critical shortage of donor organs.

In this latest study (just published – May 2019), the researchers describe the cross-circulation platform that maintained the viability and function of the donor lung and the stability of the recipient for 36 to 56 hours. Click below to view video. As Brandon Guenthart, a lead author of the study, explains “to support lung recovery and to demonstrate cellular regeneration, we had to pursue a radically different approach and develop more minimally invasive diagnostics.” Current methodologies of lung support are limited to only 6 to 8 hours, a time that is too short for therapeutic interventions that could regenerate the injured lung and improve its function.  This new approach shows severely damaged lungs can receive cellular regeneration outside of the body and improved function is restored.” Lungs regenerated on this platform met all criteria for transplantation.

“For seven years, we have diligently worked to develop new technologies for the maintenance and recovery of donor organs. We now have the team and technology to bring this research to the patients, by making more donor lungs available for transplant,” says Vunjak-Novakovic.

“We envision that interventional cross-circulation may be used to investigate regeneration of other damaged organs, such as hearts, kidneys, and livers, expanding donor pools by salvaging severely damaged organs and leading to more organ transplants,” Bacchetta adds.