UTMB successfully transplants bioengineered lung into pig

Dr. Joaquin Cortiella, left, and Dr. Joan Nichols of UTMB are shown with one of the bioengineered human lungs they grew in their lab. Their most recent research involved bioengineering a pig lung and transplanting it into a pig. Some day they hope their research will lead to bioengineered lungs for human transplants, including lungs for pediatric patients, who often die while waiting for lungs of an appropriate size to become available.  

GALVESTON — Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch say they have successfully transplanted a lab-grown organ into a living pig.

Last week, Harry, a 50 pound Yorkshire pig, was the recipient the new lung, said Dr. Joan Nichols, a professor of internal medicine and infectious diseases, and one of the leaders of the bioengineering program.


Contact reporter John Wayne Ferguson at 409-683-5226 or john.ferguson@galvnews.com. Follow him on Twitter, @johnwferguson

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(3) comments

Kathy Maddox

I'll bet Harry is healthy & happy.[rolleyes]

Mark Stevens

Animal rights activists and others will doubtless howl about the donor pig.

An animal love friend of mine has suggested they use lawyers as donors, opining that the genetic difference might not be that great.

With apologies to Gilbert &Sullivan, others may have suggestions: "I've got a little list...I've got a little list...."

Nominations, anybody?

David Blackshear

This is really cool. Its not about Harry, it's about my wife. Born with Eisenmengers Syndrome, on Remodulin for 16 years now and currently waiting for board approval for heart / double lung transplant at St. Lukes at Texas Medical Center.

As it goes lungs are the most dificult. All the usual must match along with thorasic cavity size. And, historically donors are either terminally ill (who due to laying in bed long-term have disease in lungs and cannot transplant) and fatal car crashes (who in many cases destroy the lungs on the steering wheel upon impact)...this lung research is good stuff!! :)

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