Testing of “Organ in a Box” Yields Promising Results

Although it might seem like science fiction, scientists have created a box  to keep transplant organs “alive” during their transport. The Organ Care System™ (OCS) maintains the organ in a functioning state during shipment.  The company making them hopes to submit the device to the Food and Drug Administration for approval in the future.

According to CNN, the OCS LUNG is approved in Europe and is undergoing clinical trials in the United States. Preliminary results showed that patients whose donated lung was transported in the box had fewer complications and greater overall outcome. TransMedics, the company behind the OCS, hopes to start a new era in organ transplants. According to their website:

Lung transplantation programs around the world face significant challenges in organ availability, patient outcomes, and overall cost of patient care caused by the limitations of the current cold static lung preservation method.

The OCS™ LUNG is a portable perfusion, ventilation, and monitoring system that maintains the organ in a near physiologic state. The system enables surgeons to perfuse and ventilate the organ between the donor and recipient sites.

Image Courtesy of TransMedic.com

Image Courtesy of TransMedic.com

TransMedics is currently testing out a similar device for donor heart transportation. CNN reports that the device costs approximately $58,000, and the internal chamber must be replaced for each patient.