Will the heart transplant become successfull when attempted on humans?
Pig heart transplants proved that it can extend the recipient’s life for several months based on the new study of genetically modified pig hearts that made baboons lived for up to 195 days.
For many decades, scientists around the world are seeking if animal organs can be used as an alternative, in a procedure known as xenotransplantation. One such huge challenge is to get a primate body that will get an organ donation from a different species. This is because the mammal immune systems assault on anything they distinguish as unfamiliar.
This made the scientist modify the genes of the pig’s heart not to indicate that its heart tissue is different from the recipient. Another reason for genetic modification is to create other markers usually found in humans.
Using the method from a previous experiment, a baboon lived nearly three years. The primate lived with two hearts inside its body – a pig’s heart that beats alongside the monkey’s own heart.
In the new research, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich cardiac surgeon Bruno Reichart and his team polished the transplant processes previously used in numerous ways. They have accomplished far better outcomes.
Dr. Reichart noted, “Porcine hearts are… more vulnerable when compared to human organs. The transplants must be perfused with solutions which carry nutrients and oxygen; the perfusion wasn’t only carried out during storage time but also during implantation.”
The pig heart transplants have been quite successful and could be applied to humans soon. The International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation (ISHLT) in 2001, proposed that human trials will be considered if 60 primates could live for 90 days. Also, there should be some manifestation of possible more extensive existence.
Although the pig heart transplants met the criteria for the human trial, there are still challenges that have yet to overcome. The donor animals should be sufficiently safe from afflicting humans with cross-species viruses. Porcine endogenous retroviruses could inflict human recipients and cause their early demise.