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The OrganEx technology has restored circulation and cellular activity in the vital organs of animals after an hour died

OrganEx technology
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OrganEx technology

In these images of pigs’ kidneys, green stain shows actin, a protein used by active cells. Cells appear brighter and healthier after being hooked up to a system called OrganEx (right) compared with cells in a pig connected to a traditional perfusion method called ECMO (left) Andrijevic et al (2022)

Restored circulation and cellular activity in the vital organs of pigs

A shocking research has been conducted out by scientists from Yale University, United States of America. They have restored circulation and cellular activity in the vital organs of pigs, such as the heart and brain, one hour after the animals died. We can call it cellular life support for dead pigs. A complicated web of pumps, sensors and artificial fluid can move oxygen, nutrients and drugs into pigs’s bodies, keeping cells in organs that would otherwise degenerate after the heart stops pumping.

BrainEx and OrganEx

The study was published on August 3, 2022 in Nature Research, revealed the possibility of novel strategies for maintaining organ health in the body prior to transplantation. In prior work, scientists made a machine called BrainEx, which kept aspects of cellular life chugging along in decapitated, oxygen-deprived pig brains. The new system, called OrganEx, pushes the approach to organs beyond the brain [1].

Scientific Goals

The scientist said, we wanted to see if we could replicate our findings in other damaged organs across the body, and potentially open the door for future transplantation studies. By pumping a artificial fluid into pig bodies, OrganEx intends to replace the functions of hearts and lungs. The lab-produced fluid has components that deliver new oxygen and nutrients, avoid clotting, and shield against inflammation and cell death when mixed 1:1 with the animals’ own blood.

Scientific Result

Anesthetized pigs were put into cardiac arrest and then left alone for an hour. After that, some pigs were placed on an existing medical system, called extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) [2]. This adds oxygen to the pigs’ own blood and pumps it into their body. Other pigs received the OrganEx treatment.

As a result, the researchers found that Compared with ECMO, the OrganEx provided more fluid to tissues and organs. Fewer cells died, and some tissues, including kidneys, even showed cellular signs of repairing themselves from the damage done after the heart stopped.

Future Advantages

The scientist said, a similar system might one day be useful for protecting human organs destined to be donated. But for now, “there is still lots of work to be done in our animal model. The research will certainly be strongly useful for the medical and as an effort to discover superior breakthroughs to overcome cardiac arrest experienced by patients.


[1] Andrijevic, D., Vrselja, Z., Lysyy, T. et al. 2022. Cellular recovery after prolonged warm ischaemia of the whole body. Nature. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05016-1

[2] Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Accessed at 1.52 PM on 4 August 2022.

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