by Matt Soergel
The Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville is working with a biotech company to keep donated lungs healthy long enough for doctors to decide if they’re suitable for transplant patients around the Southeast. Inside a new building on Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville campus, lungs from organ donors will be kept flushed and ventilated under clear plastic domes as scientists, working against the clock, try to determine if they are suitable for transplantation into patients around the Southeast. Mayo is collaborating with a biotech company on the project, which aims to tackle a shortage of suitable lungs, which are among the most difficult and delicate of organs to find for transplant. The process, called ex-vivo lung perfusion, keeps donated lungs functional and breathing, long enough for doctors to decide if they will work for patients waiting for a lung transplant.
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Context: Mayo Clinic in Florida's new Discovery and Innovation Building opened on Thursday, Aug. 22. Here, pioneering technology will increase the number of lungs available for transplant. The 75,000-square-foot building also will house an innovative Life Sciences Incubator that connects entrepreneurs with resources to bring medical solutions to market.
Lungs are among the most fragile and difficult organs to transplant. They are susceptible to injuries and infections, with only about 20% of donor lungs in the U.S. meeting the standard for transplant. On average, about 300 people die every year waiting for a lung transplant. About 1,400 people are waiting for a lung transplant, and many more could benefit from a transplant if more viable lungs were available, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing, the organization that oversees the nation's organ transplant system.
You can read more on Mayo Clinic News Network.