Artificial livers can solve the shortage of organ transplants

Tram Ho

In the UK alone, more than 6,300 patients now have to be listed on transplant waiting lists. Each day, three of them will die because they cannot wait for a suitable organ.

In an effort to reduce dependence on human donated organs, scientists are conducting studies to create artificial organs to replace real organs.

The prospect of this research has been highlighted in a new article published in Nature Biomedical Engineering. In particular, scientists have created bioengineered livers with a method they call decellularization and recellularization.

Initially, they took a pig's liver out of the animal's body, then removed the cells – all the pig cells were removed, leaving only the frame of blood vessels forming the shape of the liver. After that, the relapsing is done by filling the human cells with the skeleton until it returns to a complete liver.

In animal tests, these livers were able to maintain continuous perfusion for 15 days. Scientists are currently in discussions with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the required steps before this research can be tested in humans.

We spoke with Dr. Jeff Ross, CEO of Miromatrix, a biotechnology company that holds a patent for the method of reduction and regeneration, to learn about this potential and marvelous technique.

Những lá gan nhân tạo có thể giải quyết vấn đề thiếu hụt tạng ghép - Ảnh 1.

Organs can be created by decellularization and recellularization.

Anna MacDonald (AM): What are the main challenges faced when making biological engineering organs?

Dr. Jeff Ross (JR): There are several challenges – one of which is the difficulty of creating functional blood vessels to support vital organs. For many years, we could only make thin tissue sheets, without blood vessels, which could not thicken into cubes.

At Miromatrix, we developed a method to take advantage of exactly what [the framework of organs] that nature has created. Starting with a pig's internal organs, its entire cell eliminates through a process called decellularization.

We then take the human cells back to the decomposed internal organs, through a process called recellularization, to develop an organ that functions with certain blood vessels.

Our patented process and technology has the potential to create fully functioning organs that contain the patient's own stem cells. Therefore, organ transplant patients can avoid some of the compulsory immunosuppressive therapies [daily anti-rejection medication as usual].

Could you please tell us what is elimination of blood perfusion and the advantages that this method brings in the process of creating biological organs?

The patented blood cell desalination process, which we have patented, basically, is the cleaning of all the cells from a cut off organ of pigs, leaving only the veins blood and the microstructure that binds the organ.

Our groundbreaking technology then takes human cells into the remaining matrix frame, until it is filled by human cells forming an entirely new internal organ.

Những lá gan nhân tạo có thể giải quyết vấn đề thiếu hụt tạng ghép - Ảnh 2.

The blood vessels are decomposed, then re-perfused.

In a recent study, this method has been used to make biotechnological livers. Can you give us an overview of this research and the results it has achieved?

By developing biotechnology agencies, we are delighted to announce our progress in the mission to end the long list of patients who have to wait for organ transplants.

The data collected in recent research has helped us take a big step towards that goal, as it has solved one of the biggest barriers for organ transplantation, which is the successful development of a functional vascular system and the ability to maintain normal perfusion to the internal organs, supporting their function.

Miromatrix data published in Nature Biomedical Engineering shows the possibility of blood vessel reconstruction in liver structures on a clinical scale, with human blood cells themselves.

Not only does it allow the liver to maintain perfusion activity for more than 15 days after transplantation, but it also demonstrates that the liver's specific endothelial cells also have characteristics that match them. Clearly, this research has overcome a major barrier, facilitating the advancement of biotechnology livers that help address organ transplant needs for thousands of patients.

Our next step is to bring this research to clinics. After addressing an important barrier involving blood vessels, we are now able to introduce liver and bile duct cells into each liver tissue to form a complete liver through technology. biological.

These transplants are being tested in pigs, and their results are encouraging. We had a preliminary discussion with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine the steps needed before this research could be tested in humans.

Những lá gan nhân tạo có thể giải quyết vấn đề thiếu hụt tạng ghép - Ảnh 3.

A decomposed liver has only a white frame remaining.

What are the immediate things to do, and how long will it take before these biotechnological livers are ready for transplant?

We are preparing to announce the results of a trial, which we believe we can reconstruct an organ's blood vessels, place it back into the body of a large animal, achieving the perfusion time. sustainable and help the agency to perform its inherent functions.

This will be the next major milestone, helping us to proceed to the studies that follow the set plan, an important step towards human trials.

At Miromatrix, we have targeted 3 years for the first clinical studies in humans. Thanks to a new grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we are getting closer to that goal.

There is still a lot of work to be done, but we are making great progress, and the future is gradually becoming a reality.

What about rejection organ transplants? Does the patient still need immunosuppressant drugs?

In order to solve the painful problem in organ transplants, that for every organ transplant, the patient will have to take immunosuppressive drugs for a lifetime, we have determined to create two product lines.

For many reasons, the organs in our first lineup will be derived from whole cells isolated from unsuitable organs for transplant, but all must be cells. healthy cell.

We believe this method will accelerate the approval process faster and allow it to help patients earlier. The first line of products may still require patients to take immunosuppressant drugs, similar to the organs from other donors today.

But in our second generation product line are organs derived from the patient's stem cells or from a donor, which will allow a significant reduction or no need for immunosuppressant drugs, This is really the optimal solution to the organ transplant problem. The process of developing regulations for this product line can be longer, which is why we are focusing on the first product line.

Những lá gan nhân tạo có thể giải quyết vấn đề thiếu hụt tạng ghép - Ảnh 4.

Biotechnology livers will help address organ transplant needs for thousands of patients.

There is another question we have solved: the leftover pig organs, whether they will cause an immune response?

Through our previous bio-products, MIROMESH® and MIRODERM®, we were able to demonstrate the enormous potential of organelles. Like our biological liver, MIROMESH and MIRODERM are both derived from pig liver.

Using the same dehydration process, we removed all animal liver cells while preserving the overall frame of the liver, including the blood vessels. The decomposed liver is then made into MIROMESH and MIRODERM.

So far, thousands of patients have been implanted in our materials without any adverse reactions related to the immune response reported in these patients. The initial data is proving that our method is of low risk, suggesting that the use of pig visceral frames is a safe solution.

Refer to Technologynetworks

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Source : Trí Thức Trẻ