Image credit – University of Texas Medical Branch

Thanks to medical technology that has helped lead to the development of organ transplants, this has resulted in many lives being saved, where organs such as hearts, lungs, livers, and kidneys have over the years been successfully transplanted from one person to the other. However the problem with transplants is that you need to find a donor that matches you.

Given that some organs cannot be transplanted from a living person to another (such as the heart), this narrows down the availability options even more, which is one of the reasons why the black market on organs is thriving. However there is a glimmer of hope on that horizon, thanks to scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch where they have successfully managed to transplant lab-grown lungs into a pig.

Of course this is a long way off from creating lungs that can be transplanted into humans, but the fact that it was successfully transplanted into a pig who survived is a huge step. In a study published in the Science Translational Medicine, Joan Nichols who is the lead author of the study said, “Up until now, there have been a few studies in small animals but there was a short survival period. This is the first time a whole bioengineered lung has been transplanted.”

However like we said, there is still a long way to go before this tech can be applied to humans, if at all. This is because there needs to be studies done to see how long/durable these lab-made lungs hold up over the years, and if there might be any negative side-effects.

Filed in Medical. Read more about Health and Science.

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