Research swine are contributing to research studies that focus on restorative therapies to replace lost or diseased human tissues.
While the amount of suitable human cells for transplantation is lacking, porcine cells offer researchers a suitable, and much more available, alternative.
In 2014, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh found that cells derived from porcine organs – in this case, bladders – could work with human stem cells help build muscles in the legs of five men who had suffered severe injuries, including two soldiers injured by IEDs.
All five had suffered from nearly 60 percent to 90 percent of leg muscle loss, and had undergone surgery and physical therapy, with no success.
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The concept of xenotransplantation between humans and pigs is not new, but it’s one that’s faced some hurdles on the road to becoming a viable organ transplant method.
The key concern was that the human recipient could contract serious – if not fatal – zoonotic diseases from pig organs via porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERVS).
Continue Reading Xenotransplantation: How Pig Organs Could Be Transplanted into Humans
Thermal ablation is an important technique in treating liver tumors and metastases. New research into this treatment conducted in Germany relied on porcine liver models to test ablation methods.
This study was conducted by researchers from University Medicine Berlin and Martin Luther University in Halle, and published in April in the Journal of Cellular Biology.
Continue Reading Studying Benign Periablational Enhancement in Porcine Liver Model
Vitreous cryopreservation is a practice that allows for the preservation of biomaterials without the risk of excess ice accumulation.
Porcine tissues are an excellent model for this sort of research. There are many stresses – internal, thermal, residual – induced by the rapid cooling process of vitreous cryopreservation.
By using porcine tissues, researchers can fine-tune the methods used in cryopreservation and improve the process, which in turn will allow for effective preservation of larger materials.
Since porcine hepatic tissue is so similar to the liver tissue found in humans, it is an excellent tissue model for vitreous cryopreservation research. A recent study in China – published in the March 2017 edition of the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer — used porcine hepatic tissue to look at vitreous cryopreservation.
Continue Reading Porcine Tissue Used for Vitreous Cryopreservation Research
Pigs regularly play an important role in vital medical research through the use of porcine organs and tissues.
One such area is the field known as TERM, or tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. Tissue regeneration can change the lives of humans and animals alike, making progress in this field of research even more critical.
Continue Reading Porcine Organs Used in Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine