Harald Ott is a surgeon currently working at Harvard Medical School and running a lab which is famous for its unusual methods of experimenting. Mr. Harald claims that one day these experiments would lead to a solution of organ-transplant in humans, except there is one condition. These transplants will not be from other human beings but from animals. American Transplant Foundation claims 20 people die every day in the United States waiting for their organ transplant from donors. This idea or experiment, if successful would eliminate and minimize the risk of people currently dying due to lack of organ transplants.

Animal-Human Organ-Transplant

Harald Ott examines one of the decellularized pig lungs in his lab


Part 1: The method starts with attaching circulatory system of the animal organ to a particular pump which then sends detergent through organ; in this case, they took pig lungs.

Part 2: These organs which are taken usually from pigs and rats are chemically treated and their cells are removed then. What left behind is an empty shell. This shell is then again filled with stem cells from the patient. This procedure is done in a hope that human body will accept that organ.

The lab is also working on a technique called lung regeneration. The experiments are mainly done on pigs and rats. Rats lungs are not compatible with human lungs. But their biology is similar so they provide for an excellent test subject.

Recellularized rat lung in an incubator where oxygen is introduced to make the lung breathe

Three different rat lungs are used in an incubator in this experiment. Each under the different condition to find which process is the best suitable for regenerating organs.

The lab has achieved remarkable results. Their team has successfully done this procedure from human to pigs and rats means taking stem cells from human organ and filling it in the animal organ. The animals stay alive for about a week after that and then die. This one week life is a proof that we shall see the animal to human organ transplantation in the future.

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