Supporting Organ Transplant Medicine

Cryobiology is the study of biological materials at low temperatures.

 

One challenge to meeting the need for organs in medical transplants is the length of time donated organs can remain viable. Donated organs cannot currently be stored very long, so many organs are wasted, not getting to the patient before the donated organ degrades and starts dying. 

 

This is why we emphasize organ donation and research in the field of cryobiology. Take a look at the two kidneys in the picture on the left. Advancements in cryobiology research can enable regular, safe preservation of organs. The kidney that was "vitrified" (on right) will have far less tissue damage than the one that was "straight frozen" (on left). This can enable it to be stored frozen for long periods of time. 

This photo is from the United States Red Cross Research Facility in Bethesda MD, one of the premier organizations focused upon organ preservation research.

 

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Organ Preservation Alliance

The Organ Preservation Alliance (OPA) is dedicated to accelerating organ preservation and transplant medicine, to better preserve donated organs, and create new organs from advances in tissue engineering. The slide show below is OPA's slide presentation about their work and goals.