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Biotech Medicine

Device Keeps Lungs Breathing Outside the Body 74

Posted by timothy
from the trade-creepy-feeling-for-staying-alive dept.
Al writes "A new system that keeps lungs breathing outside the body could improve the chances of a successful transplant. The Toronto XVIVO Lung Perfusion System, developed at Toronto General Hospital, can keep a pair of human lungs slowly breathing inside a glass dome attached to a ventilator, pump, and filters. The lungs are maintained at normal body temperature of 37 C and perfused with a bloodless solution that contains nutrients, proteins, and oxygen. The organs can be kept alive in the machine for up to 12 hours while surgeons assess function and repair them. See a video of the system keeping a pair of lungs alive."
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Device Keeps Lungs Breathing Outside the Body

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  • GOOD LORD!!!! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:01AM (#27613241)
    Sweet mother of Jesus!!

    Watch that video!!

    NOW.
    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:16AM (#27613563) Journal
      Pfft. How is it going to crawl into my nightmares without gleaming, razor sharp mechanical spider legs?
    • Ahhhh! God that is creepy. That is something straight out of a 50's sci-fi film. Next thing you know they'll have Hitler's brain [wikipedia.org] in there pulsing away.

  • by Dripdry (1062282) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:02AM (#27613253) Journal
    What a breath of fresh air!
    I'm glad they're breathing new life into transplant technology.
    The medical community did well but they shouldn't go getting all puffed up over this.

    phew. There. I'm taking a karma hit for everybody who even considered making those jokes.
  • by BigGar' (411008) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:04AM (#27613305) Homepage

    While this is rather cool, I can't help thinking that,somehow, Vincent Price had a hand in the project.

    • by Dripdry (1062282)

      Is this a "Dr. Phibes" joke? Because if it is then you, sir, are awesome.

      Ah, something on topic? hmmm.
      While I don't see the current generation of breath contraptions ad impto hardum, the far reaching implications inherent in the very philosophy that embodies a device such as this should give each of us pause as we... oh fine, yes, it's off topic.

  • Maybe it's not the heaving of breasts that is so attractive about women. Perhaps it's something more primal, more core.

    Watching the lungs inflate and deflate rhythmically makes me feel all funny inside.

    Like I want to retch.

  • Krang (Score:3, Funny)

    by Java Pimp (98454) <java_pimp AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:06AM (#27613341) Homepage
    Damn that's just creepy! I half expect to see it moving around trying to take over the world [wikipedia.org]!
  • First you put your lungs in the dome, along with your weed which you light and then you slide the other half of the dome over and let the lungs fill up with smoke.

  • Full System (Score:2, Interesting)

    How long do you think it will be before they are able to do a full system like this. Or at least the brain, eyes, lungs, and heart. That would be amazing!

    It would also make a good goofy syfy movie where the bodyless organs go around and commit crimes. It would get away with it because nobody would be able to identify it (lack of facial features).

    • How long do you think it will be before they are able to do a full system like this. Or at least the brain, eyes, lungs, and heart. That would be amazing!

      Not too long ago I saw a documentary on Robert J. White [wikipedia.org] and related "experiments". I don't know if it was him or one of the Russians with similar projects, but they actually kept a monkey brain alive outside the head. Yes, there was video footage...

    • It would also make a good goofy syfy movie where the bodyless organs go around and commit crimes. It would get away with it because nobody would be able to identify it (lack of facial features).

      I can't help but think that the bodyless organs might stand out a bit in a police lineup, owing to having no body... facial features or not.

      • by shrikel (535309)
        The police are legally required to fill the lineup with people (or in this case, maybe I should say entities) that match the verbal description given by the witness. If the witness described "a bodyless set of human organs", first of all the police would need to find several sets for the lineup, and second ... how the heck are you going to distinguish between them? (Assuming, of course, no major coloration differences like smoker lungs or something.) I'd think that you'd be concerned enough about being a
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by quantumghost (1052586)

      How long do you think it will be before they are able to do a full system like this. Or at least the brain, eyes, lungs, and heart. That would be amazing!

      Quite a while. Part of the success they had with lungs is that they don't require blood...or more precisely hemoglobin which carries oxygen...so they can get away with just "feeding" the lung nutrients as they oxygenate themselves.

      There are currently systems used that keep solutions circulating through transplant kidneys, that help keep them viable longer.

      Brains pose unique problems. We don't have the technology to reconnect them so they function properly...and no prospect of fixing this anytime soon.

    • Makes me think of that great but long movie bicentennial man with robin williams!

    • by vertinox (846076)

      Well... I think the key part is keeping the brain alive which they already do during Cardiopulmonary bypass [wikipedia.org]

      Lungs and heart can be replaced (not easily since that requires a donar), but if the brain dies, thats it.

      I remember seeing an old Soviet film where they did this to a dog and had an oxygen machine keeping the dogs head filled with oxygenated blood.

  • Hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TrebleJunkie (208060) <ezahurak@a[ ]nticbb.net ['tla' in gap]> on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:29AM (#27613855) Homepage Journal

    Odd. Video looks kind of fake, especially given that the first cut has was I'm presuming to be a vacuum cover _off_ of the device. Plus the lungs are way too perfect looking -- nothing like the more ragged looking ones in the photo. *shrug* Not doubting it works, just don't think the video's authentic, more an "artist's representation" of what the system does.

  • A question: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by maillemaker (924053) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:40AM (#27614151)

    Why did one of the lungs looked like it was sliced or cracked?

  • by Faw (33935) on Friday April 17, 2009 @10:52AM (#27614471)

    and it was all done in the 1950s. Search for Doctor Sergei S. Bryukhonenko.

    Experiments in the Revival of Organisms [wikipedia.org]

    A link to the movie in google video [google.com]

    • by Krneki (1192201)

      Considering the time and location of his experiments I think some concerns might be raised.

      I bet this guy makes Victor Frankenstein look like a noob. But I could be wrong ofc.

    • by Liath (950770)
      just fucking creepy.

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