During his visit Vince Cable saw how engineers and medics have worked together to create a device that can keep organs alive outside the body, increasing the number of organs available for transplant.
OrganOx Ltd is developing a device for sustaining organs outside the body using blood at normal body temperatures. The device was invented by transplant surgeon Peter Friend of the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences, and biomedical engineer Constantin Coussios of the Department of Engineering Science. In the first instance, it will be used to improve and prolong preservation and transportation of livers before transplantation.
The OrganOx technology allows livers to be preserved for up to three days – more than three times longer than is possible by conventional cold storage – and the company expects that it will also allow livers currently deemed unsuitable for transplantation to recover to an acceptable standard for transplant.