Wednesday 28 June 2017

Nanoparticles used to defrost frozen organs

Scientists have found a way to re-warm blood vessels and heart valves that have been
cryogenically frozen, without causing damage to the tissue. Stock Image
Scientists have found a way to re-warm blood vessels and heart valves that have been cryogenically frozen, without causing damage to the tissue. Stock Image
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Nanotechnology could help overcome a major hurdle in the storage of donor organs.

Scientists have found a way to re-warm blood vessels and heart valves that have been cryogenically frozen, without causing damage to the tissue.

If this can be scaled up, it would be a major advance in the preservation of donor hearts and lungs, up to two-thirds of which currently have to be discarded. Eliminating this waste could bring an end to waiting lists for these organs within two years.

A team at the University of Minnesota tested samples that had been treated with silica-coated iron nanoparticles and vitrified at -160C - preserving them in a glass-like state.

Radio waves were then used to excite the nanoparticles, enabling the tissue to be defrosted evenly without cracking. The research was published in the journal 'Science Translational Medicine'.

Irish Independent

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