In News

To the Organ Transplantation Community,

In my last post , I referenced that through hypothermic oxygenated perfusion (HOPE), organs awaiting transplantation are cooled to temperatures typically ranging between 4 and 10°C, significantly reducing their metabolic rate to about 10% of normal. This oxygen-rich perfusion revitalizes the mitochondria, the powerhouse and energy reservoir of the cells. Essentially, this process primes the cells before transplantation, optimizing clinical outcomes and potentially mitigating the dreaded reperfusion injury that many transplant patients experience shortly after the life-saving surgery.

In related news, I am sharing with you the groundbreaking research being conducted by a team at the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center, led by Andrea Schlegel, MD, MBA, associate staff in the Department of Inflammation & Immunity. She is an academic transplant surgeon who specializes in liver transplantation and hepatobiliary surgery. Dr. Schlegel and colleagues are investigating the critical role of mitochondria mechanisms in evaluating long-term graft viability, which will support more successful organ transplants. This new focus is on mitochondria’s critical role in improving organ viability and minimizing post-transplant complications and rejection.

“With an increasing number of candidates on the waiting lists and a worldwide lack of suitable donors, there is an urgent need to better understand the biological mechanisms as they relate to transplantation,” Dr. Schlegel says. “Our mitochondrial studies focus on the critical element of underlying inflammation that can lead to organ dysfunction and recipient complications after transplantation.”

Prof. Schlegel’s laboratory aims to identify organs that can immediately function after transplant through their viability assessment, avoiding complications and graft loss or recipient death.

“Identifying the mechanisms of mitochondrial dysfunction that lead to ischemia- reperfusion injury and ongoing inflammation after organ transplantation is key,” says Dr. Schlegel. “Our research has the potential to determine long-term graft survival. As researchers, our large clinical transplant program at the Cleveland Clinic Transplant Center, gives us a unique opportunity to explore novel mechanisms in the laboratory with direct transfer to clinical practice of organ perfusion and transplantation, and save lives,” Dr. Schlegel says.

I hope you all had a productive ELITA Summit 2024 in Madrid. Looking forward to seeing you at ILTS 2024 in Houston.

Again, I welcome hearing from you.

Don Webber
President and Chief Executive Officer
Bridge to Life Ltd.