Feeds

Boffins keep transplant lungs alive in glass dome

'Reconditioned' organ bonanza foretold

Application security programs and practises

Canadian medi-boffins have successfully trialled a method of keeping human lungs alive outside the body. They say that this will enable them to offer "reconditioned" lungs for transplant operations.

The idea is that often transplant docs have some lungs on hand, and people needing their present ones replaced, but the available lungs aren't in good enough nick to be used.

But now, with the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, a set of lungs can be whipped out of the donor and put into a "protective, transparent bubble-like chamber". Here they are hooked up to a "pump, ventilator and filters through which flow oxygen, nutrients and a special solution" and kept at human body temperature.

According to Dr Shaf Keshavjee of Toronto General Hospital, "lungs can be safely kept on this circuit for 12 hours in order to assess, maintain and treat them before successfully transplanting them".

Keshavjee says that such "reconditioned" organs, given a careful tune-up in the XVIVO nutrient bubble-tank, could be a boon for lung-hungry Canada - where the queue for a transplant has doubled in the last ten years.

"This new technique heralds the beginning of a new era in transplantation," said Keshavjee's Toronto General colleague Marcelo Cypel.

"It has allowed us to progress from preserving donor lungs to actually being able to repair some of the injury before transplantation. And we have done this using a unique strategy on donor lungs outside the body."

The two docs were pleased to announce the first full trial of their kit. Andy Dykstra, 56, received a pair of reconditioned lungs earlier this month and is now back at home. The XVIVO system had been tested before, but Dykstra was the first patient to receive lungs "which could not have been used if they had not been repaired first".

"Many more donor lungs which we could not have used before can now potentially be used safely," said Keshavjee.

There's a vid of a lung being kept alive under glass here, for those who'd like to see it. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.