The lab-grown organ transplants aren’t popular yet, but they are too close to your thoughts. The researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have efficiently tested bioengineered lungs in adult pigs. They didn’t find any sign of medical complications. It isn’t specified how effective the lungs were at oxygenating the pigs. The researchers developed the sturdy network of blood vessels needed to survive. The challenge was making a full structure that the bodies of pigs could accept. The team of researchers finalized this project by producing a lung scaffold from the organ of another animal using both detergent and sugar to wipe out all the cells and blood, but just the proteins were left. They consumed the scaffold in a tank filled with nutrients. They added the pigs’ own lung tissue cells using a carefully designed protocol or recipe.
The procedure took 30 days to foster the organs before they were ready for transplants, but they didn’t need infusions to keep working. There’s still a while to go before human transplants are an option. In addition to the question of functionality, long-term viability is also a concern. The scientists just tracked the progress of the organs for 2-months, or just long enough to spot immediate trouble. They should need more studies to see how the lab-made lungs fare years down the road. The team of researchers believes that it could grow human-ready lungs in the next 5 to 10 years. It could prove invaluable to hospitals, which will end shortages of viable organs and improve their long-term transplant survival duration.