There is a need to improve donor organ preservation strategies to meet donor organ requirements for transplantation. Strategies such as cold flushing and organ preservation solutions are common practices to mitigate organ damage incurred during the transplant procurement, transport and implantation processes, but these solutions can be inadequate for marginal or extended criteria donors (ECD) that are being used in response to increased demand. New organ preservation solutions that are more effective in protecting donor organs, particularly from ECD, are required to fill this gap.
To address this unmet need, Dr. Du’s lab is developing new organ preservation solutions using a novel hyperbranced polyglycerol (HPG). Proof-of-principle studies using cell cultures and rodent transplant models have shown that this HPG organ preservation solution performs better than conventional solutions in the cold preservation of organs and human cells. A patent application for the technology was granted in May 2015.
Dr. Du’s technology has garnered interest from top companies and key opinion leaders in the transplantation field. To sufficiently validate and de-risk the technology, enabling him to attract industrial interest, Dr. Du will compare the efficacy of HPG organ preservation solution with conventional solutions in donor kidney preservation with a non-human primate model. If the HPG solution performs adequately, it will lead to a clinical trial.
The success of this technology could lead to a needed increase in the number of organ transplantations for British Columbians who need them.