In the past few years there have been tremendous developments and breakthroughs in solid organ transplant. In the year 2010 full face transplant was undertaken for the first time in the world. Although there are many problems related to solid organ transplantation’s graft rejection, the effects of lifetime immune suppression, donor shortage, etc. many new approaches and researches are conducted by scientists and doctors to combat these limitations.
Shortage of organ donors
The major problem in solid organ transplant is finding an organ donor. There is often a shortage of organ donors because of which patients requiring organ transplantation need to wait for several months or in some cases even for years. Many times these patients don’t survive to receive the organ. Even if they survive, there is always a risk regarding whether or not the body would accept that organ or not.
The future of solid organ transplant
Many innovative developments have been undertaken in order to bring a change in the future of solid organ transplant. Some of the developments are as following:
- Creating organs from stem cells: Around 6 windpipe transplants made of stem cells have been done so far. These transplants were undertaken as an experimental basis on patients who had very little chance of survival. Out of the 6 patients, only one could not survive.
- Artificial and implantable organs: Researches have been conducted to develop artificial organs that can be transplanted in the patient’s body to keep them alive till the time they receive an actual organ. Artificial kidney and artificial heart are at their developing stages, giving hope that one day the shortage of these organs will no longer be an issue.
- Ending body rejection of transplant: Drugs have been developed to overcome the problem of organ rejection. These drugs improve the immune system of the patient to combat tissues or bacteria that enter the body through the foreign organ. The body will accept the organ donated with any ill effects.
- Machine that keep the organ alive: Advance technology has helped the scientists build a machine that can keep the organ alive out of the body so that the doctors can get time to access and measure the organ before undertaking the transplantation process.