I posted a link the to the first person who grew working mouse hearts by using the structural framework (“extracellular membrane”) of a mouse’s heart (5-10 yrs ago?). She was forced out of her own business, but the research elsewhere has become useful.
After reading that original article years ago, I realized there was huge market for new human organs that was never going to end. The end of the transplant list was in sight because growing replacement organs was just a matter of weeks—for anyone needing a new organ.
The heart will, IMO, not be overly difficult to reproduce. It is the more specialized organs (pancreas, thyroid) that will take the most time to figure out how to obtain a good extracellular membrane.
There is no knowing that at this point. Those organs may be last just because of funding. There is no knowing yet that the heart will work. It is early. There are an endless lists of ideas and cures in medicine that wont work. The smartest people in the world sound very convincing up front. The batting averages are horrible.
As long as the organ is viable, there should be no problems with it functioning for a reasonably long time. That is the idea of current transplant technology. Given the lack of organ rejection due to the organ being from a different person (current tech), that would mean far fewer secondary problems (far fewer drugs–and none needed to prevent rejection).
Well, the Real Thing fails eventually…oftentimes with significant help from the owner of the device.
There’s enough going on in transplant medicine that resembles science fiction to my eyes that I wouldn’t be quick to dismiss this without knowing a heck of a lot more. My husband is a transplant hepatologist … and became the thankful recipient of a pig derived aortic valve among other hi-tech stuff nearly 4 years ago. No meds required beyond a low dose beta blocker to keep his BP artificially low. In all likelyhood, something else will fail before this bad boy.
My husband’s current line of research (surely his last hurrah at 74) involves working with a group developing a cardio-emulation pump that’ll allow for the study of explant, diseased livers (definitely not ethical whilst under original ownership). Apparently, even this has an ethical grey area surrounding it.
The difference with the pig derived aortic valve has been years of study. It works most of the time if not all the time.
The problem with “much more study” these guys all sound incredibly successful but the vast majority of these exercises in medicine are found out to NOT be workable years out. The disclaimers are harder to find or ignored.
I am not at all saying we should stop the progress. I am directly saying this is an investment board don’t get your hopes up. The incredible statements more often than not are built on duds.