New Technique Keeps Heart Alive 10 Days After Removed from Body

(YouTube Link)

Most organs that are removed from bodies for transplants can last only four to eight hours before they become useless. But Harvard researcher Hemant Thatte and his team have developed what they call "Somah" -- a chemical mix that can preserve organs. The above video shows a pig heart being revived using this process a day after it was removed from the pig.

The researchers harvested hearts from female pigs, stored them in one of the two solutions, then biopsied them at several points over the next four hours. They observed the function of the cardiomyocyte and endothelial cells--both of which must be preserved in order for the transplanted heart to survive over the long term. By measuring key proteins, they determined that the rate of cell death was significantly slower in the Somah-preserved hearts than it was in those stored with Celsior. Their experiments in pigs suggest that Somah keeps hearts and livers viable for at least 10 days. By contrast, solutions such as Celsior can only be counted on to preserve hearts and livers for about four and 12 hours, respectively.

Link via Popular Science

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I can see it now: A pig's heart? That must mean they are using animals for medical research! PETA. PETA, where are you??

And yet, when one of their loved ones benefits from this, they will be strangely silent. Hypocrites.
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