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Automated Persufflation Container Preserves Donor Organs Longer

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 24 Aug 2020
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Image: The ScubaTx organ preservation system (Photo courtesy of ScubaTx)
Image: The ScubaTx organ preservation system (Photo courtesy of ScubaTx)
An innovative preservation system controls and monitors gas distribution through the transplant, maintained the quality of donated organs for extended periods of time.

The ScubaTx (Newcastle, United Kingdom) ScubaTx System is comprised of a small, portable, multi-organ base unit and a portfolio of consumables that optimize organ-specific persufflation (PSF), which includes three stages. First, the organ is submerged in cold saline in order to decrease the kinetics of metabolic activities; second, humidified oxygen-rich gas is delivered through the vasculature to reduce hypoxia; and third, the process is controlled via the PSF-Autopilot software platform in order to control humidity and pressure levels, so that perfusion is delivered without tissue damage.

The PSF-Autopilot platform is comprised of an integrated array of software technologies that automate the PSF process without the need for additional interventions. Each organ transport uses organ-specific consumables that prevent human error, reuse, or counterfeiting. On receipt of the organ, the surgeon receives a simple, guided, actionable summary of the organ’s transport history, backed-up by full data. A smartphone app allows close monitoring of the entire transportation chain, over greater distances, and without the need for constant intervention by a medical technician.

“Persufflation has historically relied on highly trained technicians to monitor and adjust gas flows during transport,” said Bill Scott, MD, scientific director of the transplant regenerative medicine laboratory at Newcastle University and chief science officer of ScubaTx. “The breakthrough with ScubaTx is the use of state-of-the-art technologies to create an automated device that is simple to use and can be deployed in health services internationally at scale.”

The mainstay of traditional organ preservation is cold ischemic storage (essentially an ice-box). Although it is intended to reduce the extent of organ damage during transport, significant deterioration of the donated organ still occurs; the longer the organ is kept on ice, the greater the damage. Moreover, the cold storage technique does not enable resuscitative assessment while the organ is being transported from donor to recipient.

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