|Posted by BioCoM Executive Account on April 17, 2016 at 9:10 PM|
Is this the coolest solution to our donor-organ shortage? Researchers have discovered a way of freezing embryonic animal kidneys so that they can later be warmed up and grown into full-size organs without the risk of rejection by their recipient.
The results suggest we may one day be able to create a long-term biobank of animal kidneys that provides an unlimited source of organs for transplanting in people. There are three major hurdles for human organ transplantation: the number of organs available, rejection of the organ by the host’s immune system, and timing, because human kidneys can only be kept alive for 30 hours or less outside the body.
One obvious limitation, he says, is that these experiments were conducted in rabbits, and further studies would be necessary to evaluate the relevance of this technique for humans. However, “if the way to go in the future to address the shortage of kidneys for transplants is xenotransplantation [from other animals], then this is an important step in that direction”.
"Frozen Rabbit Kidneys Could Solve Organ Shortage for Transplants." New Scientist. N.p., 21 Mar. 2016. Web. 17 Apr. 2016.