The realization of long-term human organ preservation will have groundbreaking effects on the current practice of transplantation. Herein we present a new technique based on subzero nonfreezing preservation and extracorporeal machine perfusion that allows transplantation of rat livers preserved for up to four days, thereby tripling the viable preservation duration.
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Funding from the US National Institutes of Health (grants R01EB008678, R01DK096075, R01DK084053, R00DK080942, R00DK088962 and F32 DK095558) and the Shriners Hospitals for Children is gratefully acknowledged.
M.L.I., B.E.U., K.U. and M.L.Y. are inventors on a pending international patent application that involves some of the perfusion technology used in this work (WO/2011/002926); T.A.B., M.L.I., B.E.U., M.L.Y. and K.U. are inventors on a pending international patent application that describes the supercooling protocol employed in this work (WO/2011/35223); and B.G.B., M.L.I. and K.U. have a provisional patent application related to this work that describes scale-up of the perfusion protocol to human livers. K.U. has a financial interest in Organ Solutions LLC, a company focused on developing organ preservation technology. K.U.'s interests are managed by the Massachusetts General Hospital and Partners HealthCare in accordance with their conflict-of-interest policies.
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Berendsen, T., Bruinsma, B., Puts, C. et al. Supercooling enables long-term transplantation survival following 4 days of liver preservation. Nat Med 20, 790–793 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm.3588
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