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Your source for news on storage and preservation of cells, tissues, and organs

December 2017

 
 

OPA News and Events

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CRYO2018

Other things?

 
 
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Selected Publications

 

The clock starts now: Increased donor surgical time impairs graft survival

 Nanowarming is uniform and controled, preventing the cracking associated with convective warming

Nanowarming is uniform and controled, preventing the cracking associated with convective warming

When many of us think about organ preservation advances, we think about significant updates to the storage and transport of the organ after it is removed from the donor. However, Jochmans et al. looked at the effect of donor hepatectomy (surgical removal of the liver) time on transplant outcomes. Through analysis of almost 13 thousand liver transplants from the Eurotransplant Registry performed over the course of a decade they found that longer donor hepatectomy time was associated with graft loss. While the overall median hepatectomy time was 41 minutes, each 10 min of additional hepatectomy time was associated with similar decreases in graft survival as 1 hour on ice. Maximizing graft survival not only generally increases patient survival, but also increases patient access by reducing the need for second and third transplants.

These results underscore the importance of beginning organ preservation protocols as soon as possible - even during the donor surgery - to minimize damage and improve patient outcomes. To that end, continued advances in preservation technologies could limit, or even reverse damage during procurement. For example, progress in perfusion technologies recently enabled the first ischemia-free human transplant (He, et al, 2017), which may offer seamless integration with long-term storage capabilities, as they mature, such that organs can be cryopreserved essentially as they existed in the body.  - A. Ward

Jochmans, I.; Fieuws, S.; Tieken, I.; Samuel, U.; Pirenne, J. The Impact of Hepatectomy Time of the Liver Graft on Post-Transplant Outcome. Annals of Surgery 2017,

 

Saving structures

This engaging paper by Day et al. explored innovative ways to cryopreserve Schwann cells (a type of glial cell crucial to the peripheral nervous system (PNS)) without damaging their structure – this was looked at in the context of using these cells to repair nerve damage in patients through transplant of these cells.

There have been relatively few studies looking at the cryopreservation of brain cells or tissues where cell integrity is maintained – typically when preserving neural tissues structure is preserved at the expense of cell viability. Schwann cells were encapsulated in alginate tubes, which formed long strings aligned with the cells during culture post encapsulation – strings were tethered to the bottom of a culture flask, with one end floating in the culture medium. A set of these were then stored under hypothermic conditions, while another set cryopreserved using a slow cooling method. Hypothermic storage was found to be optimal for 3 days storage, however cryopreservation is required for longer durations.

It was found that using this method, ice did not substantially damage the encapsulated cells, which demonstrates that the delicate nature of Schwann cells can be preserved. Looking ahead, scaling up from individual cells to brain tissue remains a large outstanding problem to be addressed. The work by Day et al. will help treatments such as nerve grafting, and may begin a move to more accurate brain cryopreservation which would have huge benefits in the research of diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.  - P. Kilbride

Day, Adam GE, et al. "The Effect of Hypothermic and Cryogenic Preservation on Engineered Neural Tissue." Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 23.10 (2017): 575-582.

 

The promise of perfusion

200 words including this: taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

Jain S, Hirst DG, O’Sullivan JM. Gold nanoparticles as novel agents for cancer therapy. The British Journal of Radiology. 2012;85:101–113.
 

 
 

Selected Patents

 

Patent granted for cryogenic storage method

organ on ice.jpg

100 words including this: taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely

 

Patent granted for new cryogenic storage method

150 words including this:  taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine. I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now. When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to

 
 
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Funding Opportunities

 

https://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-OD-17-001.html - Support for the continued availability of human organs and tissues for research

 
 

News from our Network

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Special thanks to this month's contributors: Bradley Weegman, Eugene Sato, Krishnaa Mahbubani, Peter Kilbride, and Kate Franz

Editor: Alyssa Ward