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.
Can pig islet cells offer a way to combat Parkinson’s disease?
That’s what researchers at Living Cell Technologies in New Zealand hope to learn with the help of research swine.
Over the past few years, this firm has been implanting cells from the choroid plexus of a pig into the brains of Parkinson’s patients to attempt to stop the illness’ progression.
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.
When there is damage to the cells, tissue must be regenerated. This regeneration depends on a series of physiological events.
The first stage of this process is the inflammatory phase. After many other cells migrate to the damaged site, the differentiated cells produce and deposit new extracellular matrix.
Studies, such as the one published last year by LifeCell Corporation in New Jersey, have used porcine dermal tissue to make a biocompatible mesh to repair multiple damaged tissues, while minimizing infections or adhesions.
Porcine tissues are very close to human tissues so it is natural to think that porcine tissues can be used to repair or replace human tendons and ligaments.
In his article “Animal Tissue Will Build Ligaments and Tendons of the Future,” Dr. Kevin Stone explains how well porcine tissues repair torn human tendons and ligaments and actually makes them stronger than the original tissue. He writes:
Highest Standards of Animal Tissue Harvesting
At Animal Biotech Industries (ABI), our mission is to provide clients with high-quality, post-mortem tissues harvested with precise attention to client specifications. All products are harvested at USDA federally inspected abattoirs or at our onsite climate controlled facilities. These harvests are carried out in strictly controlled environmental conditions following precise protocols which have been specifically developed for each client.
Animal Tissue Shipment
These tissue samples are then processed and packaged using time tested techniques that guarantee the integrity of the tissues during shipment. Most tissues are shipped by FedEx either fresh using cold packs or frozen with dry ice. Our packaging and boxing methods allow all tissue to remain in either condition during shipment inside the boxes for up to three days even under the most adverse temperature extremes. We also make it our policy to have contingency plans in place to ensure our clients receive their tissue exactly when they need it, taking into account possible delivery delays with intermediate shipping companies. All FedEx boxes are tracked by both ABI and its clients. Continue Reading A Focus on Quality Tissue for Research Needs