This week on the Health Tech Weekly Podcast is a look at an amazing portable life-support system for organs being moved for transplant. TransMedics has developed the world’s first commercial, portable, warm blood perfusion system that allows a new type of organ transplant, called a living organ transplant.
This new technology, called an Organ Care System, is designed to maintain organs in a warm, functioning state outside of the body to optimize their health and allow continuous clinical evaluation. Hearts beat, lungs breathe, kidneys produce urine, livers produce bile. Donor blood is used, and the system provides for blood oxygenation and flow from an internal gas supply and pulsatile pumping system.
TransMedics’ proprietary solution is infused to replenish depleted nutrients and other necessary substrates in the blood. The system warms the organ as necessary, maintains humidity, and protects the organ from contamination. The system enables full functional, biochemical and metabolic assessment of the organ. This increases the transport time for organs and essentially takes a live organ, still working and moving it into the patient for whom it’s intended.
This is pretty incredible and shows just how far the technology has progressed for these types of specialized surgeries. Now we can provide life-support for an organ over an extended time frame making for much higher success rates for organ transplant surgeries and fewer rejections of organs merely kept on ice. Stay tuned as I look to cover more of these types of stories and see what companies like TransMedics can come up with next.
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