New Blood Flow Fix May Make Pig Kidneys Transplant Viable For Humans With Chronic Kidney Disease

For many Chronic Kidney Disease patients the idea of regenerative medicine may seem a bit foreign and even far-fetched. However, a few months ago when KidneyBuzz.com published the article, "Pigs Are The Next Likely Source Of Major Breakthrough In Kidney Transplantation," this website almost literally crashed with the amount of interest. Today, we have the privilege of baring great news and progress about this exciting new possibility which may tremendously cut the Kidney Transplant Waiting List by transplanting modified, human-sized pig kidneys. 

Recommended Reading: Pigs Are The Next Likely Source Of Major Breakthrough In Kidney Transplant

You may be surprised to learn how impactful "Species-To-Species organ transplantation," such as pig-to-human, may be for those in the Chronic Kidney Disease community who need a Kidney Transplant. Thus, let's be very clear: If successful, a pig Kidney Transplant option could reduce a patient's average wait time from a very minimum of approximately 3 years (1,121 days), to a matter of months! Isn't that exciting!?

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Ultimately, the pig kidneys will simply be used as a scaffold (support structure) where medical professionals can remove all animal cells from the kidneys and use the “skeleton” kidney structure (including veins) to apply Chronic Kidney Disease patient’s own cells to make a viable kidney, ready for transplant. These modified pig kidneys would not only cut Chronic Kidney Disease patient's wait-times, but because the kidney would contain the patient’s own cells it would drastically reduce the need for anti-rejection drugs which currently cause harsh health side effects in Chronic Kidney Disease patients.   

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"That is awesome!," you are likely thinking. Well, until now, the biggest challenges with Species-To-Species organ transplantation using pig kidneys was two-fold. First, (1) there was severe clotting, and (2) human cells would not remain on the pig kidney. 

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The great news is that scientist have overcome these two (2) major challenges with breakthroughs that have allowed veins to remain open for an extended period of time and new cells to remain attached to the pig kidney. Now researchers are pushing to bring this option to the mainstream so patients like YOU can live with a higher quality of life. 

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While longer-term studies are still necessary, Lead Researcher - Kap Ko (Regenerative Medicine Instructor, Wake Forest Baptist University) said, "The results are a promising indicator that it is possible to produce a fully functional vascular system (includes the arteries, veins and capillaries that carry blood to and from the heart) that can deliver nutrients and oxygen to engineered kidneys..."   

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Given the short time-span between this huge breakthrough and the last one which was published by KidneyBuzz.com just 10 months ago, you can see that this regenerative technology is rapidly developing and Chronic Kidney Disease patients have a lot to be hopeful for. 

Recommended Reading: The "Growing Epidemic" Chronic Kidney Disease Patients Face After Kidney Transplant

The real question is, "Would you accept a pig kidney for transplant?" Jump into the discussion, and let's hear your opinion by sharing your answer at the KidneyBuzz.com Facebook Fan Page. Also, for the most Breaking News and Information about how Chronic Kidney Disease and Diabetics can better manage their lives, visit your most trusted resource - KidneyBuzz.com every day.  

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References:

"Pig Kidney Blood Flow Fix Suggests Transplant Possibility."Http://www.columbiachronicle.com. The Columbia Chronicle.

"Wake Forest Gets Human Blood Flowing Through Pig Kidneys."Http://wunc.org. WUNC.

"Milestone Reached in Work to Build Replacement Kidneys in the Lab."Http://www.wakehealth.edu. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.