Heart Transplant From Animals To Humans

Heart Transplant From Animals To Humans

Shortage of donors for organ transplants has been a problem and the scientists have been working to perfect techniques to utilize the animal organs in humans.

Blood vessels, tendons and bladders are expected to be used after a break through in transplant surgery. Scientists have overcome the problem of rejection which was coming in the way of using animal tissues in humans.

The procedure involves stripping the animal tissue of its cells by a chemical treatment; this gives a biological scaffold which can be fitted in the human body. As the animal cells have been removed from the part when this is implanted the immune system does not get triggered to reject it. On the other hand, the patient’s own cells will grow into it to create a new tissue. Since the patient’s own cells have filled the scaffold to create the tissue, it would not get rejected and the tissue will be able to regenerate and last longer.

Surgeons have been able to transplant heart valves from pigs into patients for more than a decade but they have a limited life span as they don’t get populated with patient’s own cells and they require replacements within 10 years. With the new technique, the valves can grow with the patient as if they are part of the original heart.

The process of transplantation of organs from one species to another, xenotransplantation is expected to ease the situation. With the increasing shortage of donors, the use of animal organs may be the only hope for patients suffering from heart failure.

The danger of animal virus crossing over and infecting humans is another problem area which needs serious consideration. Scientists fear that not only the patient may get infected with animal virus but the virus may undergo change in the human body and may become more dangerous and spread to the population at large.

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Heart Transplant From Animals To Humans