The challenge:

The success of a liver transplant depends directly on the quality of the donor organ. This results in a major shortage of the acceptable organs in India since many potential livers for transplant fail to put up with the static cold storage, a method for renal allograft preservation involved in the conventional transplant procedure.

The mechanism of Liver transplant in India, despite recent advancements, includes two major steps: the liver is flushed and placed on ice, lowering the metabolic activity ten-fold to cut down the risk of damage. But, during the course of this mechanism, ischemic damage can occur with time leading to a reduction of liver viability and function.

The solution:

In order to battle these drawbacks or problems involved with the liver transplant procedure, professionals working at OrganOx have created the Metra device, which enables the donor liver to be stored in an artificial environment that mimics the human body- it preserves and rejuvenates less-than-ideal kidneys before the transplant by maintaining conditions that are similar to the inside of the human body.

This machine can perform a wide range of functions that may include,

  • recreating a physiological environment,
  • enabling up to 24-hour preservation and transplantation of steatotic organs,
  • improving  operating room logistics,
  • and reducing peak AST in the first week post-transplant compared to cold storage, all the same time.

Following this, OrganOx and its exclusive partner in India, Duraent Life sciences developed a revolutionary procedure called Normothermic Machine Perfusion (NMP) that can enable doctors in India to keep the liver alive for a period of 24 hours after its removal from the body of the donor. In addition, the use of NMP can lower down the rate of liver injury up to 50% and increase the mean liver preservation time up to 54% when compared to the conventional cold preservation technique.

NMP has been widely appreciated by surgical giants including, Dr A S Soin, Chairman and Chief Surgeon, Medanta Institute of Liver Transplantation, and Scientific Advisor to OrganOx. He says, " the liver maintained on NMP before the transplant will function better, allowing a safer transplant". He also mentioned the ease of transferability of liver from one place to another among other benefits of employing an NMP at Indian medical facilities.

As per A S Soin, a majority of Indian medical facilities are using NMP because:

  1. It allows the liver to receive oxygenated blood and nutrients that does not degrade over time.
  2. The team involved in the transplant can assess the function of the donor's liver prior to transplant.
  3. The transplantation procedure can be performed in the daytime.
  4. The transplanting team gets additional time to handle complications.

Final Word:

The prime objective behind the development of such a game-changing device is to amplify the number of livers being available for transplant in India. With NMP now available in India, 30% of liver transplants are possible with improved results.

This, in turn, leads to shorter patient-waiting lists and minimized patient death rates. In doing this, OrganOx is committed to working towards in developing new technologies to address liver transplant in a more rational way.