OrganEx technology: Raises ethical questions about the definition of death, by restoring cell, organ function in pigs after death!

 | Post date: 2022/08/15 | 
A team of Yale scientists developed a new technology, OrganEx, which restored cell, organ function in pigs one hour after death. this technology consists of a perfusion device similar to heart-lung machines -- which do the work of the heart and lungs during surgery -- and an experimental fluid containing compounds that can promote cellular health and suppress inflammation throughout the pig's body. 
After cessation of blood flow or similar ischaemic exposures, deleterious molecular cascades commence in mammalian cells, eventually leading to their death. Yet with targeted interventions, these processes can be mitigated or reversed, even minutes or hours post mortem, as also reported in the isolated porcine brain using BrainEx technology. To date, translating single-organ interventions to intact, whole-body applications remains hampered by circulatory and multisystem physiological challenges. In this study which is published by Nature, they describe OrganEx, an adaptation of the BrainEx extracorporeal pulsatile-perfusion system and cytoprotective perfusate for porcine whole-body settings. After 1 h of warm ischaemia, OrganEx application preserved tissue integrity, decreased cell death and restored selected molecular and cellular processes across multiple vital organs. Commensurately, single-nucleus transcriptomic analysis revealed organ- and cell-type-specific gene expression patterns that are reflective of specific molecular and cellular repair processes. Their analysis comprises a comprehensive resource of cell-type-specific changes during defined ischaemic intervals and perfusion interventions spanning multiple organs, and it reveals an underappreciated potential for cellular recovery after prolonged whole-body warm ischaemia in a large mammal.

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