Lab-made organs successfully transplanted into LIVING PIGS in huge medical breakthrough

Dr Joan Nichols and Dr Joaquin Cortiella in their lab

They created lung scaffolds of pig lungs by removed all the cells and blood from pig lungs and then placed them in a Value-Added Tax of nutrients.

All of the pigs that received a bioengineered lung stayed healthy.

American scientists reported on Wednesday in the journal Science Translational Medicine that they bioengineered lungs and transplanted them into adult pigs with no medical complication.

The researchers hope that bioengineered lung transplants will be feasible in humans within a decade. No need for donors or years-long waiting lists. That could prove invaluable to hospitals, which could end shortages of viable organs and improve their long-term transplant survival rates.

"Our ultimate goal is to eventually provide new options for many people awaiting a transplant", said Nichols, professor of internal medicine and associate director of the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB.

Two months later, the lungs were still fully functioning and had 100 per cent oxygen saturation, meaning all their red blood cells were carrying oxygen through the body.

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In the U.S. alone, more than 1,400 people are waiting for a lung transplant - there simply aren't enough donor lungs available to meet the need. The medical condition of the animals was assessed at ten hours, two weeks, one month, and two months following the operation, which allowed the team to construct a timeline of the lung tissue's development. So researchers used a 30-day time frame for this study and were able to develop an immature bioengineered lung, with cells and proper tissue formation.

The procedure first starts with a support scaffold, a protein structure of collagen and elastin onto which the new lung will grow. Already at two weeks, the bioengineered lung had integrated itself into the blood system and was colonized by the bacteria that make up the natural biome of the lung.

"In these studies, we talk about producing human lungs using human scaffolds", Dr Nichols explained.

There was no signs of pulmonary edema, which is usually a sign of the vasculature not being mature enough, according to the researchers. This is an encouraging advance in the field of organ and tissue transplantation and transplantation.

The researchers said that with enough funding, they could grow lungs to transplant into people in compassionate use circumstances within five to 10 years.

"This project has taken 15 years to get to this point and we are thrilled that we did so well", Nichols said. However, the team did not measure how much oxygenation the lungs had provided, which will be researched in the future.

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