Yale University researchers said.
“All cells don’t die instantly, there’s a longer chain of events,” said David Andrijevic, associate research associate in neuroscience at Yale School of Medicine. “It’s a process where you can interfere, block, and restore certain cellular functions.”
What is OrganEx Technology?
The research builds on a project led by Yale in 2019 to restore circulation and some cellular functions in the brain of a dead pig using a technology called BrainEx.
In the new study, the researchers applied a modified version of BrainEx called OrganEx to whole pigs. The technology includes an infusion device similar to a cardiopulmonary machine – which does the work of the heart and lungs during surgery – and an experimental liquid containing compounds that may promote cell health and prevent inflammation throughout the pig’s body.
Cardiac arrest induced in anesthetized pigs, treated with OrganEx one hour after death.
Six hours after the OrganEx treatment, the scientists found that a number of important cellular functions were active in many areas of the pig’s body – including the heart, liver and kidneys – and several other functions. organ function was restored.
For example, they found evidence of electrical activity in the heart, which maintains its ability to contract.
Normally, when the heart stops beating, the organs begin to swell, collapsing blood vessels and impeding circulation, he said. But Circulation was restored and organs in the dead pigs treated with OrganEx appeared to function normally at the cellular and tissue levels.
“Under the microscope, it is difficult to distinguish between a healthy organ and an organ that has been treated with OrganEx technology,” the team said.
As in the 2019 experiment, the researchers also found that cellular activity in several areas of the brain was restored, although no organized electrical activity indicative of consciousness was detected. in any part of the experiment.
The team was particularly surprised to observe involuntary and spontaneous muscle movements in the head and neck regions when they assessed the treated animals, which remained stimulated throughout the entire prolonged experiment. six o’clock. These movements suggest the preservation of some motor function, says Sestan.
The researchers stress that additional studies are needed to understand the motor functions that appear to have been restored in animals and require rigorous ethical judgment from scientists and ethicists. other biology.