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How Human-Pig Hybrids Could Lead to Lab-Grown Organs

porcine tissue

In 2017, scientists at the Salk Institute made an announcement that almost sounded like science fiction: they had created the first successful animal-human hybrids.

“The project proves that human cells can be introduced into a non-human organism, survive and even grow inside a host of animals, in this case, pigs,” wrote Erin Blakemore in National Geographic. “This biomedical advance has long been a dream and a quandary for scientists hoping to address a critical shortage of donor organs.”

Many animal species have been used in the research of xenotransplantation, however, porcine tissue is the best model for this research.

As we’ve noted before, pigs are extremely similar to humans anatomically and this is extremely beneficial due to the fact that their organs can be transplanted into a human and they would be a complete match for size.

If you add the fact that you can insert your own DNA into the tissue, (at the embryonic stage of the pigs life) you are well on your way to being able to have an organ transplant that will offer very minimal if any rejection factors to the new tissue.

Humans will greatly benefit from this research because they won’t have to spend years on an organ donor list. Instead, they’ll need to simply wait for the 114 days it takes for a pig to gestate and be born, followed by a few months in which the pig’s organs grow to a weight that matches the patient.

In the past, we’ve written about how xenotransplantation was potentially becoming more feasible due to CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing, as well as how this procedure can help solve the donor organ shortage by providing healthy porcine tissue.

Animal Biotech is proud of the role it has played in assisting researchers with this kind of work, whether they needed porcine cadavers or porcine tissue.

Since 1990, we’ve provided biomedical professionals with live porcine models and porcine cadavers – as well as our expertise – to meet their specific research needs.

Contact us today to find out how our team can help you make your next breakthrough.

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