Transplant innovation – the key to battling organ shortage

Across the globe, millions of people with end-stage organ disease desperately need transplantation to survive – and demand for new organs is increasing. But there is also an acute global organ shortage, which ultimately costs lives.

Every year, transplants save approximately 160,000 lives. While great, this only meets 10 per cent of the current need.

To improve the situation, more organs must be available for transplant. Today, many donated organs – 70 per cent of all hearts, 80 per cent of all lungs, and some 30 per cent of kidneys and livers – are discarded. In part, this is due to poor organ quality. In part, it’s because organs can only survive outside the body for a short time.

The Swedish company XVIVO has decided to change this. Their belief is to extend the life of donated organs and give transplant teams the opportunity to save more lives.

To push boundaries and break new ground that will ultimately save thousands of lives, XVIVO partners with renowned scientists and pioneers like Professor Stig Steen.

Two of Professor Steen’s innovations are cornerstones in XVIVO’s quest. The Ex Vivo Lung Perfusion (EVLP) method makes it possible to test lung function outside the body before a transplantation. And a unique heart transplant technology has, in pre-clinical studies, demonstrated an ability to keep hearts in better condition outside the body longer than before. Thanks to this novel technology, fewer organs are discarded and the time window for the transplant is expanded. Both these factors save lives.

Another pioneer working with XVIVO is Arjan van der Plaats. His idea is to use pulsatile oxygenated machine perfusion, which increases the number of useful kidneys and livers. Not only does this reduce the waitlist mortality, but it also greatly improves the post-transplant results for patients.

Two important features of XVIVO’s cutting-edge solutions are the restored flow to organs and the addition of oxygen and nutrients during storage. They help maintain or even improve organ function – and allow organs to remain outside the body longer.

When put together, all of XVIVO’s breakthroughs give transplant patients a much better outlook. With a longer time frame, transports can become safer, and organs can travel further to find a suitable recipient. Furthermore, organs with questionable function get a second assessment.

The XVIVO technology is also essential to scientists looking for new answers. It opens up new horizons when combined with 3D printing, bioengineering of organs, and xenotransplantation (transplantation from one species to another).

XVIVO’s technology makes more organs available and safer to use – and saves more lives. It’s a significant step in fulfilling XVIVO’s vision that nobody should die waiting for a new organ.

XVIVO paves the way for a new era in organ transplantation.

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