Research, Technology

Breakthrough in transplantation: scientists revived organ cells after the death of a pig

After the death of an animal or a person, as weWe know that the cells in his body quickly cease to function and disintegrate. This is a serious problem in transplantology, since after the death of a donor, doctors have very little time left to perform a transplant. However, OrganEx technology can solve this problem. It allows not only to maintain the life of cells, but also to restore them. In a recent study, scientists found that a pig's brain, heart, and liver cells continued to work six hours after it died. It should be understood that this is not about restoring brain function, and not about returning the animal to life, but only about maintaining cellular functions. The technology involves connecting the body to a system of pumps and filters that pump fluids through the organs that support life in the cells. According to scientists, OrganEx can be used not only in transplantology, but also to extend the life of people in critical situations.

Scientists were able to revive the cells of a pig after its death

The brain died, but its cells continued to work

The first study of scientists on life extensioncells by pumping special liquids through the organs, was carried out back in 2019. Details can be found in the journal Nature. But then a simplified system was used, called BrainEx.

Device pumped through blood vesselspig brain a synthetic form of hemoglobin. The latter carries oxygen to the cells. In addition, the liquid contained a substance that prevented the occurrence of blood clots, as well as the self-destruction of cells (apoptosis).

The OrganEx machine provides the pumping of fluid throughout the body, which supports life at the cellular level.

Thanks to the pumping of this liquid, scientistsmanaged to prevent cerebral edema, which usually occurs after death. Some cellular functions continued to work even four hours after the decapitation of the pig. Of course, the brain itself did not produce any signals. In fact, he was dead. However, the study showed that it is possible to artificially maintain the life of cells and thus, theoretically, preserve the functionality of organs for a long time.

Organex will give the body life after death

In their latest work, the researchers decidedto improve the technology, or rather expand it so that it can support the life of cells not in some separate organ, but in the whole body of a pig. To do this, they created the OrganEx system, which resembles a heart-lung machine. The latter is able to play the role of the heart and lungs during operations.

Researchers pumped with OrganExblood and a modified version of the fluid that can keep cells alive. This time it included 13 different substances. They prevented inflammation, provided correction of electrolyte imbalance, etc.

For the experiment, the authors caused a cardiac arrestin an anesthetized pig and connected to the OrganEx system one hour later. Six hours later, scientists recorded the process of cell renewal in the brain, as well as other vital organs. They retained not only cellular, but also metabolic functions. The heart, for example, could generally contract, as scientists report in the publication Nature.

Cell Life Fluid Contains 13 Different Compounds

A detailed study of organs showed thatgenes responsible for cellular repair were active in organs. But perhaps the same results can be achieved by simply pumping blood through the body? To find out, the scientists connected the bodies of other pigs to a machine that pumped oxygenated pig blood into their bodies.

Six hours later, the authors found thatthe blood vessels of such pigs began to collapse, they developed signs of tissue edema and hemorrhages. This indicated that the OrganEx technology was really effective, which means that the efforts of scientists were not in vain.

How OrganEx can extend people's lives

The study showed that the functionalityorgans can be saved and even restored. Therefore, scientists expect that in the future this system will allow preserving and restoring human donor organs. This means that organs will become more available for transplantation. Recall that the technology of transplanting pig organs to people, which had high hopes, has not given positive results to this day. The first patient who received a pig heart transplant died some time later.

Organex will help save people's lives after heart attacks and strokes

But the benefits of technology don't end there.solution to the problem of shortage of donor organs. Theoretically, OrganEx can be used to save people's lives after a stroke or heart attack. The device will help to cope with ischemia, which causes death.

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But, it should be understood that before the Organex testpeople are still very far away. The fact is that the degree of cell recovery when using this device is different in different organs. Therefore, scientists have yet to study the extent to which recovery occurs in a particular organ. In addition, the solution itself must be adapted for use in the human body. Therefore, there is still a lot of work ahead of scientists. However, in general, it can already be said that the technology is very promising.