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.
Orthopedic surgeons are finding a rapid repair for rotator cuff tendon injuries where there was not a reliable method in the past. Porcine intestinal tissue has been determined to make a viable patch which allows the surgeons to have tissue to suture the tear together and aids in stimulating the body to grow new tendon tissue. The pig tissue, which is mostly collagen, then is absorbed by the body. This finding was reported by ABC News’ Denise Dador and ABC News.com’s Robin Eisner. Please click the link to read the article “Pig Intestinal Tissue Helps Human Injury.”
Pigs are a natural source for xenotransplantation due to the fact that they are so anatomically similar to humans. The key is to genetically modify the animals by knocking out the genes that are responsible for initiating the human immune system.
Research studies that have been carried out over the last year at The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) have shown that genetically altered porcine hearts that are transplanted into baboon’s abdomens are withstanding rejection along with a little help from host targeted immunosuppression. It is the hope of the scientists that all major organs will be able to be xenotransplanted including insulin producing cells which would treat diabetic patients.
This procedure will hopefully mean fewer potentially toxic drugs for immunosuppression. This is critical research because it may solve the shortage of human donor organs. Please click the link for “Pig Heart Transplants For Humans Could Be On Their Way” by Janet Fang to read the article.
Pigs are a major contributor to the biomedical research world. A new method of using porcine bladder tissue to create human muscle repair using a stem cell technique is proof. The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and The McGowan Institute for Regenerative Health has been testing this procedure in clinical studies and found that it works. This technique actually causes functional skeletal muscle to be formed where only scar tissue would normally form and the new muscle fibers actually secure their own blood flow. This tissue was used in the past to repair hernias and ulcers on the skin. Click on the link below to read the full article “Patients Regrow Muscles with Pig Bladder Tissue” written by Jessica Firger of CBS News.