In The News - Volume 1 - Issue 17 - November 8, 2015

3D Bioprinting Solutions Succeeds in Performing the First 3D Printed Thyroid Transplant
In November of 2014, a Russian company by the name of 3D Bioprinting Solutions made a bold claim: they intended to produce the first 3D printed animal thyroid gland by March 2015. In March, they delivered on their claim, right on schedule, with their announcement that they had successfully printed a thyroid gland for a mouse. At that time, the company had not yet attempted to transplant the gland into a living mouse. This week, however, 3D
Bioprinting Solutions announced that they have successfully transplanted functional 3D printed thyroid glands into live mice. The full results of the experiment will be published next week, but the company has confirmed that it was a success.
Nov 4/15

Researchers create transplantation model for 3-D printed constructs
Using sugar, silicone and a 3-D printer, a team of bioengineers at Rice University and surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania have created an implant with an intricate network of blood vessels that points toward a future of growing replacement tissues and organs for transplantation.
The research may provide a method to overcome one of the biggest challenges in regenerative medicine: How to deliver oxygen and nutrients to all cells in an artificial organ or tissue implant that takes days or weeks to grow in the lab prior to surgery.
Nov 3/15

Kidney transplantation prolongs survival compared with home hemodialysis
Previous studies have found that kidney failure patients on long-term dialysis tend to die earlier than patients who receive kidney transplants; however, none of these studies have considered death rates in US patients using alternative forms of dialysis such as home hemodialysis. Two such studies will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3¬-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.
Nov 6/15

Wider geographic sharing of pediatric donor lungs can increase transplant rates for young U.S. patients
Broader geographic sharing of pediatric donor lungs could result in twice as many lung transplants for young patients in the U.S., according to a study published today in the American Journal of Transplantation.
Maryam Valapour, M.D., senior lung investigator for the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) and director of Lung Transplant Outcomes at Cleveland Clinic, is the senior author. The SRTR is the organization responsible for analyzing U.S. transplant data.
Nov 2/15

Donor organs may be discarded due to 'weekend effect' at hospitals
Kidneys that would normally be made available for transplantation were less likely to be procured from donors over the weekend, and organs procured during the weekend were more likely to be discarded than kidneys procured on other days.
The findings, which should influence future policy aimed at improving kidney transplantation rates, will be presented at ASN Kidney Week 2015 November 3-8 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.
Nov 7/15

Will organs from GM pigs save our bacon?
The potential of GM pig organs to eradicate transplant waiting lists would depend in part on the scalability of the process. Might we one day see industrial-scale factory farming of GM pigs and a conveyor belt of organs as cheap and plentiful as budget supermarket sausages? This seems unlikely for several reasons.
Despite the relatively low cost of CRISPR itself, the process of creating and rearing GM pigs is likely to be expensive. They would be valuable animals, whose security would be a matter of concern for their breeders. The widespread European objections to GM crops may also an indication that we are unlikely to see bucolic fields of GM pigs alongside our conventional bred cows and sheep. Moreover, there would be risks that the animals might ingest toxins, or be exposed to pathogens that would jeopardise their organs. High security – and highly expensive – controlled laboratory facilities are a more realistic prospect.
Nov 2/15

Transplant tourism can increase risk for organ recipients
But beyond the legal and ethical pitfalls, experts say, the health risks are not worth it.
Most countries ban the practice, sometimes called "transplant tourism," and it has been widely condemned on ethical grounds. Now a new study highlights another issue: People who buy a donor kidney simply do not fare as well.
Researchers in Bahrain found that people who traveled abroad to buy a kidney -- to countries like the Philippines, India, Pakistan and Iran -- sometimes developed serious infections.
Those infections included the liver diseases hepatitis B and C, as well as cytomegalovirus, which can be life-threatening to transplant recipients, the investigators said.
Nov 6/15

Over 300 kidneys transplanted in Belarus every year
Over 300 surgeries to transplant kidneys are performed in Belarus every year, BelTA learned from Professor Oleg Rummo, Doctor of Medicine, Head of the Belarusian National Research and Practice Center for Organ and Tissue Transplantation, during the first international Minsk medical forum on 5 November. According to the source, the kidney transplantation program has been quite successful in Belarus. Nearly 2,500 kidney transplantations have been performed since 1970. The number has been rising since 2009 and has exceeded 300 surgeries per annum. As many as 285 kidneys have been transplanted this year already, said Oleg Rummo. Belarus is a European leader in the total number of kidney transplantations per 1 million capita. Thanks to the practice the waiting list for kidney transplants has been stabilized in the last three years.
Nov  5/15