By using the active ingredient in antifreeze, researchers from Harvard University have developed a 'supercooling' technique that triples the length of time a rat's liver can be stored outside the body prior to transplantation. The technique, should it work on human organs, could revolutionize how transplants are done.
Since the advent of whole organ transplants some 60 years ago, physicians have been able to swap-out everything from kidneys, hearts, and lungs to corneas and skin. But due to the chronic shortage of donor organs, some 120,000 patients remain stuck on waiting lists in the US alone. Eventually, we'll be able to growour own organs, but until then, we'll have to do our best to preserve these organs outside the body.