In cases where an organ fails, the predominant clinical strategy is to transplant a replacement organ from a donor. The principal challenges are the availability of donor organs, and the requirement that the donor take immunosuppression drugs—which have side effects. Further, there are many instances where the time to find a suitable donor organ requires an interim strategy to support or supplement the function of the failing organ until a transplantable organ is found.
Using circulatory support as an example, there are technologies in various stages of maturity, initially using ventricular assist devices (VADs) as a bridge to a heart transplant, and now there are VADs that are used for long-term circulatory support (destination therapy).
Scientists and clinicians around the world are developing and evaluation devices to supplement or to replace the function of many organ systems including the heart, lung, liver and kidney.
McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Bridgeside Point II
450 Technology Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
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