Scientists Change Blood Type Of Donor Kidney, Reaching Goal of Universal Organs

Sep, 2022 - By SMI

Scientists Change Blood Type Of Donor Kidney, Reaching Goal of Universal Organs

Scientists altered the blood type from B to O, of deceased donor kidney with the use of molecular scissors, offering hope to patients struggling to find suitable transplants

As much life-saving can an organ transplant be, it is difficult to find a donor match due to which people have to be on a long waiting lists. Now in a new study, a team of scientists at Cambridge developed a new method to make donated organs universal as it converts them to blood type O.

In the new study, the scientists tested an approach of converting organs of type O and this may lead to great expansion of the available organ pool for transplantation. The focus of this study was an enzyme named GH110B derived from a bacteria. This enzyme functions as a pair of molecular scissors for cutting the antigens that ling the blood vessels of the organ. The researchers infused this enzyme by the organs with the use of normothermic perfusion machine. This flushed oxygenated blood from donated organs so that they can be preserved better. This procedure results into an organ with type O blood, which make it transplantable to any patient in the need.

The researchers tested this method on human kidney tissue before they moved to three full kidneys with type B blood. This process took nearly 6 hours and reduced blood type antigens by 90% in the organs. Similar results were obtained in previous study, where researchers utilized a same technique of enzyme perfusion for clearing out type A antigens in human lungs and perfomed an incompatible simulated transplant as they introduced blood with higher levels of anti-A antibodies, due to which the organ prevented major immune injury.  However, in the new method, this one step is yet to be performed. And as per the team, if this step works, it may open possibilities for shorter waiting lists saving so many lives requiring organ transplantation.

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