Saving the organ to save lives – Warm Blood Perfusion System

By perfusion, we mean transference of blood through the network of tissues or the circulatory system to the blood capillaries in the organs and tissues. Human organs need constant supply of blood to function properly. If there is weak perfusion in our body, it could lead to artery diseases, thrombosis and other coronary diseases. During a surgery, it is very essential to maintain adequate blood perfusion or the organs start to lose their vitality. Once the organ is removed from its blood supply, it starts to decay. This has been the major obstacle, which did not allow the surgeons to reach maximum success level in transplant surgeries, because they did not have enough time to assess the functions of an organ outside the body before transplanting successfully.

Once an organ becomes available for the transplant, the clock begins. It needs to reach the hospital immediately– In a picnic cooler, which only gives, doctors a 4-hour window to perform the transplantation or the organ dies away. The clock is ticking on the both ends; the patient who is about to receive the organ has no time and the organ itself is on a time limit.

Warm blood perfusion system

In Massachusetts, an organ transplanting system has been invented, which imitates the functions of a human body with respect to its organs. This organ transplant system is devised to keep the organ in a functioning and warm state when it is outside the body during organ transportation over long distances. Its system allows the organ inside the box function as it would if it were in a human body. The heart beats as it beats in the body, the liver produces bile, kidney keeps producing urine and the lung keeps breathing.

It is a portable machine, which allows the organ to be carried over long distances, and be kept in living condition for increased amount of time. This feasibility allows surgeons to assess how the organ functions, understand it and figure an effective way to make it work for the body it will be donated to.

The device is called warm blood perfusion system, which keeps the warm blood flowing through and out the organ during the transit. It uses blood of its donor to replenish organs of depleted nutrients and substrates. The organ care system comprises of three parts; a portable monitoring platform, a perfusion module and a solution set.

·         Potable console with monitoring system

The portable platform contains oxygen supply and a pump that regulates the flow of warm blood. Platform works with batteries, so the system keeps running. Then there is a wireless monitoring system within the console, which assesses the condition of the organ and informs the physician. It measures coronary blood flow, temperature of blood, heart rate and aortic pressure.

·         Perfusion module

Perfusion module consists of a sterile chamber, which protects the organ by maintaining warm temperature and adequate humidity. The module also allows ultrasonic screening of the organ and blood samples for off-line assessment.

·         Solution set

Purpose of the solution set is to provide the organ placed in the box with substrates and nutrients it requires during the transit. The organ utilizes these nutrients just as they would do in a human body.

Its developers hope that this device would revolutionize the world of organ transplantation because with current operating methods, donated organs are not utilized because of improper storage capacity and lack of preservation. With increase in number of donors worldwide due to life-saving initiative taken by NGOs, organs are available and this device can significantly aid the process of safe organ translation in coming years.