The scientist behind that landmark experiment is Dr. Muhammad Mansoor Mohiuddin, a Pakistani-born doctor and the director of the Cardiac Xenotransplantation Programme at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Mohiuddin has spent the past 30 years trying to figure out how to increase the chances of survival for terminal patients in need of a heart transplant.
Despite multiple failed transplant efforts using monkey and baboon hearts, finally scientists got success to transplant genetically modified pig heart into the dying man with cardiac disease
How was the surgery possible
The operation was performed as 57 year old man was not meeting the criteria of human transplant and was dying from disease if not undergo operation
So it was the do or die situation for him
What did they do to make sure pig heart could be used
Scientist inactivated 4 genes in pig heart, including sugar gene which is responsible for hyperacute transplant rejection. A growth gene was also rejected to stop it’s growth in human body
They injected 6 human genes in donor genome. Modification done for better immune response
How long does the heart pig last
As it is the first so it is unclear whether it is for long run or how long it will last.
Although after going standard transplant using a human heart, around 9 out of 10 people will live for atleast a year
So it proves that a modified pig heart can function in human body without human rejection
Big big breakthrough in xenotransplant surgery indeed.
He said in an interview that “Just in the United States, 150,000 people are waiting for different organ transplants. Unfortunately, many of them will die waiting because there’s no alternative available.”
“Our idea is to somehow find that alternative.”
Certainly it will offer hope for millions in need of organs transplant