Scientists Grow Miniature Human Livers in the Lab

liver-transplant

The ultimate goal is to provide a solution to the shortage of donor livers available for patients who need transplants.

Researchers at the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center have reached an early, but important, milestone in the quest to grow replacement livers in the lab. They are the first to use human liver cells to successfully engineer miniature livers that function – at least in a laboratory setting – like human livers. The next step is to see if the livers will continue to function after transplantation in an animal model.

 

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Surgeon To Carry Out World’s First Full Leg Transplant

Pedro_Cavadas

Dr. Pedro Cavadas
Pedro Cavadas is a remarkable man. The Spanish plastic surgeon works up to 14 hours a day on patients needing reconstructive microsurgery. They are mainly those rejected by other hospitals as inoperable or those – such as the patients he flies in from developing countries – for whom the cost of plastic surgery would be beyond their wildest dreams. Later this year, he will put himself and his not-for-profit medical organisation in the full glare of publicity by performing the world’s first full upper-leg transplant. Prosthetic limbs have developed to the point where most amputees with injuries below the knee do not need to risk a transplant. But for thousands requiring whole-leg amputations – many caused by traffic accidents and landmine explosions – this operation represents a first glimpse, however distant, of a possible return to their previous lives…
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Do Hearts Store Memories? Heart Transplant Recipient Develops Cravings of Donor

heart transplant

David Waters received the heart from Kaden Delaney (top right). He now craves Burger Rings – one of Kaden’s favorite snacks.

A heart transplant patient is craving the food his donor used to eat, prompting questions over whether the organ has a ‘memory’ of its own.

 

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Repairing Lungs Outside The Body

Repairing Lungs Outside The Body

Lung tissue is preserved in the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System with the aim of repairing lungs prior to transplant.  

Lung transplant offers hope of a longer life for patients with end-stage respiratory diseases such as emphysema and cystic fibrosis, with some surviving for years following surgery. But due to chronic shortages of viable organs for transplant, only about 25 percent of patients on waiting lists receive new lungs. However, a new out-of-body lung-repair technique developed at the Toronto General Hospital may dramatically increase the number of lungs that can be used in transplants and improve surgical outcome.

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Study Shows The Human Heart Can Grow New Cells

Study Shows The Human Heart Can Grow New Cells

Heart muscle cells can be grown from human embryonic stem cells, but new research suggests the adult heart can grow new cells, too. 
 

The human heart has a notorious reputation for being unable to heal itself, but new research suggests it is capable of at least some self-repair. Using carbon dating to gauge the age of heart cells, scientists have found that low numbers of new heart cells are continuously being created throughout a person’s life. This raises the possibility that we may one day be able to use drugs to directly stimulate this regenerative capacity to patch up damaged hearts, rather than relying on cell-transplantation therapies.

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Doctors Perform Windpipe Transplant With Stem Cells

Doctors Perform Windpipe Transplant With Stem Cells 

 A patient’s collapsed lung, at right, is seen prior to a windpipe transplant which used tissue grown from the patient’s own stem cells.

Doctors have given a woman a new windpipe with tissue grown from her own stem cells, eliminating the need for anti-rejection drugs. “This technique has great promise,” said Dr. Eric Genden, who did a similar transplant in 2005 at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. That operation used both donor and recipient tissue. Only a handful of windpipe, or trachea, transplants have ever been done.

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