Mad Michigan Scientists Test Machine to Keep Human Organs Alive Outside the Body
A bizarre mechanism that could change how modern medicine handles human organs is being tested in Michigan.
According to a recent report from the Detroit Free Press, researchers from the University of Michigan are examining the potential of a machine that has the capacity to keep human organs alive outside the body. If all goes well, this medical advancement could one day allow scientists to keep a stockpile of human organs alive for extended periods ready to be transported to the thousands of people who die every year waiting on functioning hearts, livers, etc.
"I've been in medicine for years, and I still think it's wild ... almost science fiction," said Dr. Paul Lange, with Gift of Life Michigan, adding that a national clinical study for the $250,000 machine has been approved by the FDA.
The machine, which was originally developed in the 1960s, is called the XVIVO Perfusion System, or XPS, and researchers hope it will be able to successfully keep lungs alive outside the body long enough to make it a viable option for sustaining other vital organs.
"So one day, could we have a warehouse of hearts being kept alive of different sizes and call up and say 'I need a heart for a 2-year-old' and the next day it comes in the mail?" said Dr. Robert Bartlett, who was part of the team that developed the original concept nearly 50 years ago.
Before being considered for sustaining human organs, the XPS machine was used throughout the past five decades to help Michigan patients with H1N1 to survive.
Of course, this could be exceptional news for hard core alcoholics at risk of dying from cirrhosis of the liver. It is conceivable that in the near future, people will have the opportunity to purchase new organs to replace those heavily taxed by the liquor. So, drink up... a solution is coming.