Experimental work

Liver repair, regeneration and preservation in experimental work

This experimental programme developed translational experimental studies in liver repair, regeneration and preservation protocols during ECMO and their outcome in liver transplantation. It was led by Professor Thomas Minor and his research team at the University Clinic Essen (DE) with collaboration from Groningen. The machines were manufactured by Organ Assist and the perfusion solutions were developed by our partners Aqix and Hemarina.

The objectives of the project were to develop a new cell free solution for ex-vivo normothermic machine liver perfusion and to establish the optimal regeneration conditions for damaged livers by short-term pre-implantation ex-vivo liver perfusion. The work involved pig liver grafts from DCD donors that were preserved for four hours using static cold storage in UW solution followed by 90 min of pre-implantation resuscitation treatment with oxygenated machine perfusion using colloidal AQIX RS-I solution supplemented with Hemo2Life according to the results obtained in other tasks. The efficacy of the treatment will be evaluated in an isolated porcine liver perfusion model; and finally, the optimal protocol was tested in a proof of concept study in the pig transplant model.

Most results remain confidential pending publication, but initial findings on controlled oxygenated rewarming were published in 2017 in Clinical Transplantation.

Kidney repair, regeneration and preservation in experimental work

The second experimental programme in our project investigated translational experimental studies in kidney repair, regeneration and preservation protocols. There were three experimental routes that this work packag undertook - led by Professor Henri Leuvenink from the University Medical Centre of Groningen alongside the teams from Poitiers and Essen, with machines manufactured by Organ Assist, and solutions developed by Aqix and Hemarina.

The objectives were to explore new oxygenated kidney perfusion modalities supporting metabolic function, to refine the biophysical conditions for pre-implantation ex-vivo kidney resuscitation and to evaluate the effects of temperature and the addition of additives during ECMO on the outcomes of kidney transplantation.

Results of these studies remain confidential pending publication.

This project has received funding from the European Union's 7th Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement 305934.

COPE Consortium - 2018