Chinese Scientists Transplant Genetically Modified Pig Liver to Person

In a groundbreaking development in China, scientists have achieved a milestone in the field of organ transplantation by successfully conducting a liver transplant from a genetically modified pig to a human recipient. This pioneering procedure marks the first instance of a liver transplant from a genetically modified pig, aimed at reducing the risk of organ rejection. The operation took place at the Military Medical University of the Chinese Air Force, with the transplant being performed on a patient in a state of brain death. Remarkably, 96 hours post-surgery, there were no signs of organ rejection observed.

This breakthrough holds significant importance as liver diseases result in over two million deaths globally every year. In China alone, approximately 500 thousand individuals suffer from liver failure, with many succumbing to the lack of available organs for transplantation.

While traditional liver transplantation from human donors faces limitations due to a shortage of donors, the utilization of genetically modified pig organs emerges as a promising alternative. This innovation has the potential to increase the pool of donor organs and offer novel treatment avenues for liver diseases.

Xenotransplantation, the introduction of animal organs into humans, is not without its challenges, including ethical considerations and technical complexities. Despite pigs being viable candidates for organ replacement, their distinct biological features may constrain their role as a direct substitute for human organs.

To address these obstacles, researchers have devised new surgical techniques such as the auxiliary transplantation method. This method focuses on enhancing compatibility and ensuring optimal organ function in the recipient’s body by connecting the pig’s liver to a large vein post-extraction, facilitating adequate blood supply and bile outflow.

While the strides made in xenotransplantation are promising, ethical dilemmas and the risk of pathogen transmission from animals to humans necessitate further deliberation and regulation in this evolving field of medical science.

/Reports, release notes, official announcements.