2014 BMEStart First place winners, winning $10,000
The IPPTD team has invented a device that will improve small intestine transport for transplantation. Despite substantial clinical need, the small intestine remains the least commonly transplanted organ. Current transport technology fails to adequately preserve the intestine between harvest and graft, leading to high rates of necrosis and complications for the transplant recipient. This team developed a device that introduces perfusion of the intestinal lumen and vasculature to better preserve the small intestine during transport. Blood and lumen perfusion of the organ with a cold preservation solution slows degradation of the tissue by preventing cellular waste that may build up due to normal metabolic activity, and prevents necrosis. Multiple experiments with porcine models have proven the device successfully preserves intestinal tissue. After eight hours, histologic staining revealed that the intestine preserved in their novel device had less inflammation and necrosis than control tissue transported using standard-of-care methods. By introducing perfusion, this device improves grafted intestine quality and increases the accessibility of intestinal tissue for transplantation. The team intends to test the device on human tissue in early 2014.