In cases of severe ailments, human body organs fail and in order to sustain survival, doctors often hint towards organ transplantation procedures. To give a generic idea of organ transplantation, it is the procedure of moving human body parts from one individual (of the same species or different species) to another. This is a risky surgical process that has been undertaken by doctors and medical surgeons for ages with records from the time of 4th century catholic saints.
While previous medical knowledge and progress led to building up a safe haven for transplantation, recent advancements in stem cell research have led to believe in the potential of organ formation and organ transplantation from scratch! Stem Cell in our body are the best candidate to deal with repair and regeneration of body tissue, and with modern research technologies, the boundary of tissue regeneration has been pushed to organ regeneration and repair. This has let the biomedical community implement previously obstinate ideas of forming organs/organ parts and limit the need for organ harvesting from a donor. Moreover, improvements in cryogenic technologies and organ banks have further shone the light into the future of replacing organ transplantation and mitigating the involved risks.
Organ Transplantation And Risks Involved
When body organs halt their function, doctors suggest that the patient might require an organ transplant. In this process, doctors interchange the faulty organs in your body with healthy organs from another individual. In practice, some organs that have been transplanted include the pancreas, kidney, lung, intestine, liver, and heart. Tissue transplantation from own body is technically called autograft and transplantation involving different individuals of the same species is termed as allografts. Organ donations can be from either a living donor or a deceased donor. In a living donor scenario, donors stay alive and donate a renewable tissue or an organ/organ portion ensuring that the residual organ part can do the required body functions and metabolism.
After organ transplantation is done, the risk of graft rejection by the recipient patient often occurs. Transplant or graft rejection happens when the recipient’s immune system rejects the incoming tissue graft and attacks the tissue. Acute rejection often takes place within a short time post-transplantation if the receptors are completely unmatched and results in organ failure and whole-body breakdown, leading to death. Chronic rejection takes place after some years of transplantation and the transplanted tissue or organ is heavily impaired by the body’s continuous immune reaction. Therefore, it is always required to match donors and receivers before the transplant process. Moreover, doctors also prescribe immunosuppressants in order to help with the surgeries.
Alternate Way To Bypass Transplantation Risks
To avoid all these complications, stem cell-based regenerative therapy is the best alternative procedure. Stem Cells can regenerate tissues with the potential to differentiate into specific cell lineages by specific processing and therefore stem cells (pluripotent) can form specific organs with further advancement in translational developmental research. For organ transplantation, regenerating organs from the stem cells of a person does not let immune rejection affect the transplanted organs as these tissues are from the same patient. The autologous stem cells are utilized for mitigating chances of graft rejection risks upon replacing damaged tissue or organs. Moreover, the risk of organ harvesting from a living donor will also be minimized with the advantage of stem cell-based organ and tissue regeneration.