The surgery carried out on September 25 involved a genetically modified donor animal and a brain-dead patient on a ventilator.
The family of the patient had given permission for the two-day experiment, and all for the sake of advancing science.
‘’It did what it’s supposed to do which is remove waste and make urine,’’ Robert Montgomery said.
Dr Montgomery is the director of the transplant institute at New York University (NYU) Langone.
The new organ managed to reduce the level of the molecule creatinine, a key indicator of kidney health. This had become an issue for the patient prior to the transplant.
Dr Montgomery carried out the procedure along with several other colleagues over the course of around two hours. They also joined the kidney to blood vessels on one of the patient’s legs to observe and take biopsy samples.
Earlier research had shown that pig kidney is viable in non-human primates for up to a year and this became the first human attempt.
Furthermore, the donor pig belonged to a herd that underwent a genetic editing procedure to knock out a gene that produces a particular sugar.
This could have easily triggered a strong immune response hence leading to organ rejection.
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