Technology

A machine can now keep livers alive outside the body for a week

1 Mins read

The news: A machine has been developed that can keep human livers alive for seven days. It also seems to help improve the quality of the livers.

How it works: The machine re-creates a level of pressure similar to that found inside the body, and pumps oxygen, blood, and nutrients to the livers while removing cell waste products like carbon dioxide. The amounts of nutrients, blood, and oxygen are automatically adjusted by algorithms, meaning the machine doesn’t require constant supervision, according to a study in Nature Biotechnology.

On to humans: The team responsible, from the University of Zurich in Switzerland, has been developing the machine for four years, experimenting using pig livers. For the latest test the researchers used 10 human livers that were too damaged for transplant. Six of the livers survived and seemed to be healthier, with lower levels of compounds linked to injury.

The potential: Livers can currently only be stored for up to 24 hours on ice before transplant, so a machine that can keep them alive for a week could allow many more people to get transplants. There are about 17,000 people waiting for a liver in the US right now, with an average waiting time of almost a year.

Next steps: The researchers still have some way to go to prove that the invention can work in practice, and that livers stored this way would be safe when transplanted into patients.

Related posts
AfricaCovid-19Technology

African tech space attracts $2.4bn investment in 2020

1 Mins read
African technology start-ups attracted $2.4 billion in 2020 despite a downturn in Africa’s economy at the height of the novel Coronavirus pandemic,…
AppsTechnologyTelecom

ayoba messaging app assures users of privacy, security protection and content suitable for younger users

3 Mins read
As people everywhere ramp up their usage of instant messaging, more and more are choosing ayoba. MTN Group is proud to partner…
TechnologyWorld

Jack Ma was almost bigger than China

5 Mins read
Billionaire Jack Ma is a rare figure in China: a charismatic entrepreneur who speaks his mind and pushes boundaries. That free-wheeling attitude…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *