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Edmonton Researchers Tackle Limited Organ Donor Pool by Helping Lungs Breathe Outside the Body

Increased organ and transplant rates requires collaboration & innovation among government, researchers, patients and the broader community. In Edmonton, Alberta, two researchers at the University of Alberta’s medical school have developed technology that helps lungs breathe outside the body to prolong their life in a bid to revolutionize organ donation worldwide.

The ex-vivo devices, developed by open-heart surgeons Dr. Darren Freed and Dr. Jayan Nagendran, have successfully prolonged the life of donated lungs from six hours to 48 hours for a safe transplant. Currently, donated lungs are preserved on ice, and have a short life of six hours before they have to be transplanted, or they may suffer irreversible damage and be rendered useless.

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Story credit: Nadine Yousif (2019), StarMetro Edmonton.