Heart-Makers: the Future of Transplant Medicine


The vision: Omnipotent transplant centres that have the entire range of human spare parts at the ready for installation. Human organ donations have not been necessary for quite some time; new organs are manufactured synthetically, cultivated in laboratories or are sourced from genetically treated animals that are bred to be suppliers of these spare ptarts. By 2026, kidney failure, valvular defects, liver damage will have long since ceased to be of concern - faulty parts will simply be replaced.

The reality: Many people die every year as a result of heart failure, strokes or the failure of other internal organs. Organ transplants are often the only chance patients have of surviving but donated organs are rare commodities.

The search for alternatives to traditional organ transplants is in top gear all around the world. So what's being considered? Artificial organs? Minute motors with independent drives? Mechanical engineers have long been fiddling about with ever smaller artificial hearts - fully implantable with a power supply via inductions under the skin. Is xenotransplantation, i.e. animal to human transplants the cure-all? Or is the solution in the humany body itself? Regenerative, cell therapy approaches are very promising with stem cell being hailed as a learning-capable and high-performances wonder cell. Stem cell researchers claim that a breakthrough is imminent.