New Swiss tech keeps livers alive outside the body, rejuvenates damaged livers for transplant

January 17, 2020

A group of surgeons, biologists and engineers from Zurich, Switzerland, have developed a new machine that can keep donor livers alive outside the body for up to a week. The new perfusion machine’s primary function is to preserve organs set for transplantation by feeding them oxygen and nutrients, but can also restore damaged livers to full function after a matter days.

The technology was first tested out using pig livers, where the team able to demonstrate the viability of the perfused organs for one week. Further testing on 10 damaged human livers, deemed unfit for transplantation by all European medical centers, saw six of the 10 livers restored to full function after seven days of treatment.

In development since 2015, the scientists were able to integrate a number of important physiological functions into the new machine so that it closely replicates the function of the human body. These include automated control of glucose levels and oxygenation, along with waste-product-removal and management of red blood cell concentration in the blood.

Professor Pierre-Alain Clavien, Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Transplantation at the University Hospital Zurich, exclaims: “The success of this unique perfusion system paves the way for many new applications in transplantation and cancer medicine by helping patients with no liver grafts available.”

Tags: ,

Category: Features, Technology & Devices

Comments are closed.