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Category Archives: Porcine Organs

simple rendering of human lungs in shades of blue

Porcine Organ Block as a Thoracoscopic Lobectomy Model

In medical disciplines such as surgery, it is crucial for practitioners to have hands-on experience with procedures before performing them in a clinical setting.  This is easier said than done: certain operations are difficult to replicate outside of a living subject.  It can also be difficult to access and learn on practice models outside of an educational setting, posing a problem for practicing surgeons who want to utilize techniques developed after the completion of their education.  Animal models and tissues provide one solution to this problem, allowing students and professionals to develop their skills on non-human subjects.  This article from The Annals of Thoracic Surgery describes one such simulator for the practice of thoracoscopic lobectomy.

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Surgeons at the University of Maryland Medical Center perform a pig-to-human transplant of a genetically modified porcine heart.

Milestone: Human Patient Receives Pig Heart Transplant

In a breakthrough years in the making, 57-year-old Dave Bennett has become the first human recipient of an organ from a genetically edited porcine donor.  The nine-hour procedure took place at the University of Maryland Medical Center under the leadership of surgeon Bartley Griffith.  Bennett, who began experiencing severe chest pain in October, was not eligible to receive an artificial heart pump or human heart transplant.  Knowing it was his best chance at survival, he agreed to the experimental surgery, and in the process has made history.

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Male doctor in surgical clothes looking at vertebral mri scan headshot

Swine Brain Development as a Research Model for Human Neurology

Humans and swine are known to have great similarities when it comes to anatomy and physiology, making swine an excellent model for research. This article is very interesting because it shows that early swine brain development is very similar to that of humans. It is intriguing to see how these animals compare to children (both at early ages and weights) in their MRI imaging. It is always great to be able to have the research be directly applicable to humans, because the diagnostic tool is one that is being used with people currently. Humans have MRIs done easily and it is something that can easily be instituted to help diagnose children with neurologic disorders. This study focused on body weight rather than age when it came to matching the children to the pigs, and it was found that this method of matching between animal and human worked out very well. There was a little bit of variation in certain chemical levels (CBF) that were being measured but that may also be linked to the anesthesia drugs that were used to anesthetize the animals. This research is very promising and will certainly help future children.

At Animal Biotech, we take great pride in the part that we’ve played in this sort of research. We not only provide live research swine and porcine tissue: we’re also here to offer our expertise on the proper care and housing of live animals.

Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in your next project.

Live Animal Model: Pigs in Virus Research

Corona Virus

Research swine are playing an important role in the global fight against COVID-19, with live animal models helping to both create a vaccine and address the worldwide ventilator shortage.

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Xenotransplantation: Research Pigs Lead to Milestone in Skin Transplants

pig being held by person - xenotransplantation

Researchers in China have genetically engineered a pig with human DNA and transplanted skin grafts onto monkeys, a breakthrough they say will open the door to new skin/organ transplants. This type of surgery is called xenotransplantation, the process of transplanting or grafting tissue or organs from one species to another.

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How Pig Models Help Us Understand the Human Brain

brain artistic depiction

Medical researchers have long recognized the efficacy of using live pig models to understand illnesses in humans better.

But a new study out of the University of Georgia suggests that pig brains are even more effective for neurological research than once thought.

Using an imaging method typically reserved for humans, the research team at the university’s Regenerative Bioscience Center found that pig brains can offer new insights into neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.

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Pig Organs Offer New Hopes for Heart Transplants

patient and medical professional making heart shape with hands (heart transplants)

For people with end-stage heart failure, getting heart transplants can be the difference between life and death when all other treatments have failed.

Yet finding a suitable donor can often be difficult, which is why the medical community has turned to xenotransplantation – organ transplants from one species to another – for a solution.

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Scientists Regenerate Leg Muscles Using Pig Bladder Tissue

scientists in lab researching pig bladder transplants

They were men who had suffered unimaginable injuries.

Two of them were ex-soldiers, wounded by explosives. They had lost anywhere from 60 to 90 percent of the muscles in their legs.

Things seemed hopeless even after surgery and physical therapy. Then came an experimental study, involving pig bladders from research swine.

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