A Very Brief Look at Xenotransplantation

964 Words Feb 22nd, 2018 4 Pages
It is the transplant or use of live nonhuman animal cells, tissues and organs in humans or between different species. A similar approach is called allotransplantation which is the same procedure, just within the same species. These cells and organs can be implanted or enclosed in a device that is used outside the body ("ex vivo perfusion"). Xenotransplantation can help human beings suffering from organ failure to save lives. Every day between ten and eighteen people die while being on a waiting list for an organ transplant, and the development of the technology that deals with xenotransplantation could possibly contribute to creating a decline in the number of people suffering from organ failure.

Xenotransplantation was attempted unsuccessfully in the beginning of the 20th century with the use of tissues or organs from animals such as pigs, goats, lambs or monkeys. In 1963, Dr. Thomas Starzl transplanted kidneys from baboons into six human recipients in Denver, US. The patients survived between 19 to 98 days. In the year of 1984 a baby named Stephanie Fae Beauclair was born, better known as Baby Fae. She was suffering from hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS) and she became the first infant subject of a xenotransplant procedure. She received the heart of a baboon and this resulted in her surviving a total of 21 days. The cause of death was heart failure due to rejection of the transplant. The rejection…

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