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Showing posts with the label Organ transplant

RotM : Interview with Dr. Sonja Schrepfer

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For this month's Researcher of the Month, we spoke to  Dr. Sonja Schrepfer, Professor of Surgery, at Division of Adult Cardiothoracic Surgery, University of California San Francisco (UCSF).  Dr. Sonja is also the Director at TSI Lab at UCSF, which focuses on methods for preventing immunological rejection of tissue in heart and lung transplant. 
Dr. Sonja's recent publication in Nature Biotechnology, tells us about recent advancements made by her lab in generating derivatives from stem cells that avoid immunorejection in healthy recipients. 
CTS : For the benefit of our readers, could you please explain in brief what your team has achieved in this publication? Dr. Sonja Schrepfer (SS): Our team used CRISPR to create the first pluripotent stem cells that are functionally “invisible” to the immune system, a feat of biological engineering that prevents rejection of stem cell transplants and brings the promise of regenerative medicine a step closer to becoming reality. The immune sys…

Can we 3D print our organs?

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Right from an actual firing gun to a camera lens, funky phone holders to even a musical flute, 3D printing has expanded our horizons of what can be made by with the help of a computer. But can we trust this technology to go beyond these everyday things and make something that can be truly life saving?
Well, there have been reports where 3D printing has helped doctors create a replica model of a faulty heart before attempting surgery on a two year old  or even help trauma patients rebuild their faces with 3D printed parts, but we would like to push these frontiers even further and get these printers to print something more amazing, more like a liver we could transplant or a heart that could pump blood for real. 
While this might sound like a technology stolen from the future, the fact is that there are companies working today towards making this possible and have even got as far as printing a particular tissue on demand. Organovo, a San Diego, California based company, actually takes …

Transplanting a dead heart is now possible! [Coffee-byte]

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In a ground breaking discovery in organ transplantation, doctors in Australia have been successful in transplanting a heart that had stopped beating for about 20 minutes. Usually, hearts are received from donors who have been declared brain dead but whose hearts are still beating. In this case, the heart had stopped beating but was then revived and then transplanted into a patient suffering from congenital heart failure. This transplantation was conducted at St. Vincent's Hospital in Sydney with the help of an innovative new device called OCS Heart.
The biggest constraint for heart transplants is that beating hearts can be kept on ice for only up to 4 hours within which they need to be transported and transplanted. This constraint majorly reduces the radius within which a heart can be transplanted to a needy donor. In addition to this, there is also a risk that cold conditions used during transportation may alter the activity of the heart which can be detected only after the heart …