The treatment has the potential to save lives by increasing the number of livers available for transplant.
Researchers have reported that a damaged human liver was successfully transplanted after being kept alive for three days on a machine.
According to studies published in the Nature Biotechnology journal, the damaged organ was treated and maintained on a machine before being transplanted into a liver cancer patient, where it functioned correctly.
Organs can only be preserved for 12 hours in typical settings.
According to researchers, the advancement could save lives by increasing the number of livers available for transplant and allowing operation to be scheduled days ahead of time.
Prof. Pierre-Alain Clavien of University Hospital Zurich demonstrated that the liver may be kept for three days outside of the body using a machine that uses an ex situ normothermic perfusion approach. While outside the body, the organ is fed with a blood replacement at normal body temperature.
Prof Clavien remarked, “Our therapy indicates that treating livers in a perfusion machine can reduce the loss of functioning human organs and save lives.”
The machine was designed to be as close to a human body as feasible in order to create perfect circumstances for human livers.According to the report, the team used numerous medicines to prepare the liver for transplant, despite the fact that it was not originally licensed for the procedure.
The patient had multiple critical liver diseases, including end-stage liver disease and liver cancer, and the liver was transplanted into him.
The researchers discovered that the transplanted organ functioned normally with minimal harm after blood flow from internal blood arteries was restored.
A few days later, the patient was able to leave the hospital. He expressed his gratitude for the life-saving transplant, saying, “I am really grateful for the life-saving organ.”
“I had limited possibility of acquiring a liver from the waiting list in a fair amount of time due to my quickly developing tumor.”
The demand for liver transplants is growing faster than the quantity of accessible organs.
Because donor livers are only kept on ice for about 12 hours before being transplanted, the number of organs that can be matched to transplant patients is restricted.
The new technology paves the way for machines to keep livers healthy and viable for days instead of hours.
“The interdisciplinary approach to overcoming complex health challenges inherent in this study is the future of medicine,” said Mark Tibbitt, professor of macromolecular engineering at ETH Zurich.