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Major discovery may ease transplant wait times

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Major discovery may ease transplant wait times

Melbourne scientists say they’ve made a discovery that could lead to organ transplant waitlists becoming a problem of the past.

The group of RMIT University researchers took the first step towards improved storage of human cells using cryo-freezing, which may lead to the safe storage of organs via cooling biological specimens down to very low temperatures, so they can be stored for long periods of time.

RMIT lead researcher Dr Saffron Bryant told 6PR Mornings the finding could lead to the development of tailor-made cryoprotective agents, which could target specific cell types and help keep donated organs viable for years.

She told Liam Bartlett scientists plan to look at ways of cryopreserving new cell types as a next phase in their research.

“At this stage it’s early days… but our research has found a new cryo-protectant which has worked for all the cell types we’ve tested so far,” Dr Bryant said.

Tap PLAY to hear more from Dr Saffron Bryant on the breakthrough research

Image caption: Illustration of cryoprotectant in cell by (courtesy Saffron Bryant)

Liam Bartlett
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