back to article Boffins keep transplant lungs alive in glass dome

Canadian medi-boffins have successfully trialled a method of keeping human lungs alive outside the body. They say that this will enable them to offer "reconditioned" lungs for transplant operations. The idea is that often transplant docs have some lungs on hand, and people needing their present ones replaced, but the available …


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  1. Red Bren
    Paris Hilton

    One step further?

    Could they not remove diseased lungs from a patient and stick him/her in the freezer while they do the repairs, then re-implant the rejuvinated organ? No risk of rejection so need for immuno-suppressants.

    <-- Paris, as she knows how to re-implant a rejuvinated organ

  2. Aetyr
    Thumb Up

    Doing Science for the people who are still alive

    That was weird yet interesting, being able to watch a pair of lungs breath outside of a body.

    Really inspiring what those Science types can do these days - how long until we're actually living forever and turning lead into gold?

    "There is research to be done on the people who aren't still alive."

  3. Lottie


    This is great; reconditioning organs is such a fantastic idea. I'm glad that

    a) there's now a chance that a case of "we found a donor, but their lungs were too shot to use" will be eiliminated

    b) I can treat my body like sh*t in good concience because I know that if my lungs are needed after I'm gone, they can be reconditioned.

    mines the one with the bong

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "But now, with the Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System..."


  5. Curtis
    Black Helicopters

    Paging Larry Niven...

    one step closer to organlegging and the ARM...

  6. Franklin
    Thumb Up


    "Really inspiring what those Science types can do these days - how long until we're actually living forever and turning lead into gold?"

    Turning lead into gold is easy. Well, relatively easy, if you have the right gear, for some value of "the right gear" that includes "linear particle accelerator." Turning lead into gold *economically* is the tricky bit. You can do it if you don't mind doing it a few atoms at a time at tremendous expense (fancy half a trillion dollars a gram for your gold?)

    The living forever part can't come soon enough, if you ask me.

  7. Simon Ward

    If someone tries to patent this ...

    ... could Futurama be cited as 'prior art'? (we've got lungs in jars, so it can't be too big a step to heads in jars) :-)

  8. Dr Patrick J R Harkin

    I don't follow the "reconditioned" bit...

    ...but this is a major advance for lung transplantation. Kidneys are easy (for suitable values of 'easy') - whip 'em out, stick 'em in an ice bucket, transport, reimplant, bish bash bosh another punter off dialysis, but lungs are much more fragile. I was taught (though things may have improved) that lungs are generally moved directly from donor to recipient, only being out of the body for a very short time.

    This techniques offers donors more time to get to a transplant centre, surgeons more time to assess the condition of the donor lungs BEFORE anaesthetising the recipient and opens the possibility of moving lungs around the country in the way we now do for kidneys.

    But even I think it looked spooky...

  9. skeptical i

    Why the increased need for lungs?

    While not a key point to the story, does anyone know why the need for donor lungs has increased so sharply in Canada? Is this a general people- living- longer- means- more- things- will- break- before- they- depart- the- mortal- coil thing or is it related to something Canada- (or cities/ regions/ industries therein) specific?

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