Kidney problem has recently become a major health challenge globally but the possibility of solving such problem relies on availability of kidneys that could be used for a transplant.
Medically, a kidney transplant can only be done if the kidney of the donor matched with that of the patient biologically just like any other aspects of organ transplants between humans.
Every species of animal have similar body organs which makes it easier to carry out organ transplant between the animals of similar specie.
As it stands so far, human organ transfer can only be transferred to the human patient that needs it. The same goes to other species of animals.
However, a set of surgeons has proven the early known theory wrong by embarking on research to do something unusual. The quest was to see how animal body organs could be used by humans. This research became necessary following the low number of organ suppliers to human patients who need them. And the research was precisely focused on Kidney transplant.
At NYU Langone Health in New York City, a team of surgeons were able to carry out a successful transplant of a pig kidney to human. This implies that the kidney was used to replace that of human and the result was successful.
According to the information made available to EngineeringAll science team, the organ was observed for 50hours as it worked perfectly than expected without any sign of rejection, a success that seems to be first of its kind in the entire history of science.
Meanwhile, during the October 21-2021 news conference reported by NYU Langone, the team highlighted the details of the success made in the research and how possible humans could depend on animals for future organ supply. This will help to address the issue of lack of organ donors around the world.
Why Pig Organs Remained the first focus of researchers
Pig is a unique animal that has been found to have organs that are anatomically similar to human organs. The possibility of having its organs in human body as replacement seems higher than other animals.
Considering the matching possibilities, the scientists thought it necessary to start with the pig organs in the quest to have alternative and reliable supply of organs for transplants.
Any Hope Thereafter?
The problems of Hyperacute rejection has been the major challenge of the transfer of other animal organs to humans. The xenotransplant researchers whom had been in charge of this research had been experiencing instant blackening and subsequent death of organ of other animals transplanted to human due to the condition that can be called ‘hyperacute rejection’.
However, the introduction of genetic engineering has helped researchers a lot. Not only to engineer genes but to understand and be able to overcome some of the problems associated with bio-genetics. It is believed that genetic engineering has played vital role in the success of the pig kidney transplant to human.
There is hope in the future because, proper research can now commence to obtain even better results and be able o breed special pigs that are genetically engineered to supply organs to humans. This will certain solve the problem of shortage of human organ donors but it will still take some time to be perfected.
Willie is a bio-science enthusiast. A graduate of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering from UNICAL. He joined EngineeringAll team for the sole purpose of giving updates relating to his field of study.
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