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Harry Campbell


When organs fail, replacement is the only hope—and often a faint one, given the scarce supply and the strong chance that a transplant won’t take. In a decades-long quest to improve the odds, MGH scientists have found the secret of tricking the immune system into accepting organs from a wide range of donors. Now they’re continuing to experiment with a related approach, also in the works for many years, that would tap a nearly limitless source—pig organs. And they’re pushing toward an entirely different, equally remarkable solution: engineering an entire replacement kidney or heart from a patient’s own cells.

  • pig man Toward a New Source of Organs
    A natural phenomenon is lighting the path to minimizing organ rejection and, one day, using animals as donors. //  More

  • vacanti The Organ Builder
    Joseph Vacanti has already engineered skin and bone, but what he really hopes is to grow whole, functional organs. //  More

  • heart scaffold A Heart’s Second Life
    As researchers study hearts they have stripped down to their underlying structure, they move closer to growing living, functioning versions. //  More

  • chimp The March of Transplants
    From xenotransplantation to treating organ rejection with antibodies to chimerism, scientists have been trying to improve organ transplantation for more than a century. //  More

  • jen searle Freed From Immunosuppressants
    Alive but miserable after her first kidney transplant, Jennifer Searl jumped at a second chance—one that would wean her off powerful antirejection drugs with extensive side effects. //  More

  • Heart Repair
    Aortic valve replacements made of synthetic materials and cow tissue are helping patients more patients survive the failure of their valves. //  More


Video: The Organ Builder

vacanti Joseph Vacanti explains the limitless potential of tissue engineering. // MORE

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