One of the biggest challenges for medical researchers studying the effectiveness of stem cell therapies is that transplants or grafts of cells are often rejected by the hosts. This rejection can render experiments useless, making research into potentially life-saving treatments a long and difficult process. Now, researchers at the Univ. of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection.
“The rejection of transplants and grafts by host bodies is a huge hurdle for medical researchers,” says R. Roberts, Curators Professor of Animal Science and Biochemistry and a researcher in the Bond Life Sciences Center. “By establishing that these pigs will support transplants without the fear of rejection, we can move stem cell therapy research forward at a quicker pace.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/06/scientists-transplant-grow-stem-cells-pigs
Skin Grafts from GM Pigs May Aid Burn Treatment
A specially bred strain of miniature swine, lacking the molecule responsible for the rapid rejection of pig-to-primate organ transplants, may provide a new source of skin grafts to treat seriously burned patients. A team of investigators from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) report that skin grafts from pigs lacking the Gal sugar molecule were as effective in covering burn-like injuries on the backs of baboons as skin taken from other baboons, a finding that could double the length of time burns can be protected while healing. The report in the journal Transplantation has been published online.
"This exciting work suggests that these GalT-knockout porcine skin grafts would be a useful addition to the burn-management armamentarium," says Curtis Cetrulo, of the MGH Transplantation Biology Research Center (TBRC) and the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, corresponding author of the Transplantation paper. "We are actively exploring options for establishing clinical-grade production of these grafts and hope to begin a clinical trial in due course."
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/05/skin-grafts-gm-pigs-may-aid-burn-treatment
Today in Lab History: April 23, 1981- Artificial Skin
On April 23, 1981, artificial skin was first transplanted in the U.S. on patients at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston. The combination of cowhide, shark cartilage and plastic was developed by Ioannis Yannas and a research team at MIT. This material makes possible the treatment of burn patients whose injuries might otherwise be fatal.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2012/09/today-lab-history-artificial-skin
Uterus Transplant Patients Attempt Pregnancy
A Swedish doctor says four women who received transplanted wombs have had embryos transferred into them in an attempt to get pregnant. He would not say on Monday whether any of the women are pregnant.
Since 2012, nine women have received wombs donated by their mothers or other close relatives in an experimental procedure designed to test whether it’s possible to transfer a uterus so a woman can give birth to her own biological child. The women had in vitro fertilization before the transplants, using their own eggs to make embryos.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/03/uterus-transplant-patients-attempt-pregnancy
Lungs of Heavy Smokers May Be Used for Transplant
Transplanting lungs from donors with a history of heavy smoking does not appear to negatively affect recipient outcomes following surgery, according to a study in the March 2014 issue of The Annals of Thoracic Surgery.
Currently, lung transplantation is significantly limited by donor organ shortage, and a smoking history of more than 20 pack years (equivalent to smoking a pack a day for 20 years) often makes lungs ineligible for donation.
Read more: www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/02/lungs-heavy-smokers-may-be-used-transplant
Doctors Transplant Wombs into Nine Women
Nine women in Sweden have successfully received transplanted wombs donated from relatives and will soon try to become pregnant, the doctor in charge of the pioneering project has revealed.
The women were born without a uterus or had it removed because of cervical cancer. Most are in their 30s and are part of the first major experiment to test whether it’s possible to transplant wombs into women so they can give birth to their own children.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2014/01/doctors-transplant-wombs-nine-women
Your Lungs are Viable for Donation After Death
The pair of lungs sits inside a clear dome, gently inflating as doctors measure how well they’ll breathe if implanted into a patient who desperately needs a new set.
It’s a little-known twist of nature — your lungs can live on for a while after you die. The air left inside keeps them from deteriorating right away as other organs do. An innovative experiment now aims to use that hour-or-more window of time to boost lung transplants by allowing donations from people who suddenly collapse and die at home instead of in a hospital.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/11/your-lungs-are-viable-donation-after-death
Bone Marrow Recipient Cured of Peanut Allergy
Not only can bone marrow transplants be life-saving for children with acute lymphocytic leukemia, they may also cure peanut allergies. According to research presented during the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology’s (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting, a 10-year-old boy no longer had a peanut allergy after undergoing a bone marrow transplant.
"It has been reported that bone marrow and liver transplants can transfer peanut allergy from donor to recipient," says allergist Yong Luo, ACAAI member and lead study author. "But our research found a rare case in which a transplant seems to have cured the recipient of their allergy."
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/11/bone-marrow-recipient-cured-peanut-allergy
Paying People to Donate a Kidney Could Be Cost-Effective
A strategy where living kidney donors are paid $10,000, with the assumption that this would increase the number of transplants performed by five percent or more, would be less costly and more effective than the current organ donation system, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN). The findings demonstrate that a paid living donor strategy is attractive from a cost-effectiveness perspective, even under conservative estimates of its effectiveness.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/10/paying-people-donate-kidney-could-be-cost-effective
Transplanting fat may treat such inherited metabolic diseases as maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) by helping the body process the essential amino acids that these patients cannot, according to Penn State Univ. researchers.
The researchers are targeting maple syrup urine disease because it disproportionately affects the Amish and Mennonites who reside in the central Pennsylvania communities surrounding the College of Medicine and its hospital, Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. The team transplanted up to two grams of fat into either abdomens or backs of mice genetically engineered to have MSUD. When fat was transplanted in the back of the MSUD mice, amino acids levels decreased considerably compared to non-transplanted MSUD mice. The fat was either cut into small pieces or minced into fine pieces, with no noticeable difference in results.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/09/fat-transplant-may-treat-metabolic-disease
Technique Brings Lab-Made Organs Closer
Researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN), part of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, have developed a simple method of organizing cells and their microenvironments in hydrogel fibers. Their new technology provides a feasible template for assembling complex structures, such as liver and fat tissues, as described in their recent publication in Nature Communications.
According to IBN Executive Director Prof. Jackie Ying, “Our tissue engineering approach gives researchers great control and flexibility over the arrangement of individual cell types, making it possible to engineer prevascularized tissue constructs easily. This innovation brings us a step closer toward developing viable tissue or organ replacements.”
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/08/technique-brings-lab-made-organs-closer
Bigger Lungs are Best for Transplants
When it comes to lung transplants, bigger may be better. That’s the main finding from a Univ. of Iowa study, which found that oversized lungs lead to improved survival following lung transplants, particularly among patients receiving double-lung transplants.
Currently, in the U.S. height is used as a surrogate for lung size for transplant candidates. But Michael Eberlein, clinical assistant professor in internal medicine at the UI, and colleagues came up with a new formula, called “predicted total lung capacity ratio,” to find out which size lungs matched best with patients who are candidates for transplants.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/08/bigger-lungs-are-best-transplant
By the time 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan finally got a lung transplant last week, she’d been waiting for months, and her parents had sued to give her a better shot at surgery.
Her cystic fibrosis was threatening her life, and her case spurred a debate on how to allocate donor organs. Lungs and other organs for transplant are scarce. But what if there were another way? What if you could grow a custom-made organ in a lab?
It sounds incredible. But just a three-hour drive from the Philadelphia hospital where Sarah got her transplant, another little girl is benefiting from just that sort of technology. Two years ago, Angela Irizarry of Lewisburg, Pa., needed a crucial blood vessel. Researchers built her one in a laboratory, using cells from her own bone marrow. Today the five-year-old sings, dances and dreams of becoming a firefighter — and a doctor.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/lab-grown-organs-could-ease-shortage
Ruling Upsets U.S. Transplant System
It’s a life or death matter: who gets the next scarce donated organ? In an unprecedented challenge to the nation’s transplant system, a federal judge has allowed one dying child — and a day later another — to essentially jump the line in rulings that could have ramifications for thousands of people awaiting new organs.
Over and over, the nation debates the fairness of transplant policies, from Mickey Mantle’s liver in the 1990s to people today who cut their wait times by moving to another city where the list is shorter. But back-to-back rulings by a federal judge this week appear to be a legal first that specialists expect to prompt more lawsuits from people seeking a shorter wait, just like the parents of two patients in a Philadelphia hospital — 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan and 11-year-old Javier Acosta.
Read more: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news/2013/06/ruling-upsets-us-transplant-system