Medical science is still a fair distance away from being able to simply grow replacement organs for patients in need of transplants, notwithstanding recent hyperbolic headlines. What can be done is to use cells from donor kidneys to grow more of themselves for use in ‘renal assist devices’ – special filter tubes used in dialysis machines that extend the life expectancy of renal failure patients by mimicking the processes of a real kidney more closely. The only problem is scaling up the technology to meet the potential demand while staying within FDA regulations.
One thought on “Mass Producing Transplant Organs”
I thought the main purpose of this device was to ‘bridge’ patients who would die otherwise – that is, buy them some time for a donated kidney to appear. I think the RenaMed site calls it ‘providing temporary biologic function of the kidney.’ They have had some measure of success out to 180 days, although the study covered only a 28 day period.
A similar product is available for people waiting for liver transplants, but it lasts less than two weeks.
Comments are closed.