Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, have discovered a way to decontaminate organ transplants thanks to a new method that uses light to kill viruses and donor bacteria.
According to experts, biofotonic therapy, as is well known, should expand the available organs and reduce complications after surgery.
"There is currently no decontamination of the transplant organ, just the withdrawal of the blood, but the microorganisms are still alive, or the organ is abandoned or, if there is no other alternative to avoiding death, it is contaminated," Erawan coordinator Vanderlei Bagnato explained.
The research began in 2015 with the University of Toronto, Canada, which runs the largest lung transplant program in the world. The Canadians were responsible for the clinical part of the project, while the Brazilians were responsible for the development of the technique.
About $ 1 million was invested, and the Brazilian section, responsible for about 10 percent, was in the hands of the research foundation in Sao Paulo (Fapesp).
The procedure, primarily, involves the withdrawal of the blood from the body and through the outer tube associated with the blood vessels, replaced by the fluid that keeps it alive.
This fluid is exposed to ultraviolet rays that destroy cell membranes of microorganisms and their DNA.
"Ultraviolet rays are applied outside the body to not kill their own cells, but viruses and bacteria are caught with fluid," Bagnato said.
On the other hand, substances that are sensitive to visible and infrared light, capable of selecting viruses and bacteria, are placed in the liquid.
After that, these light frequencies are applied to the body, which stimulates the substance to oxidize microorganisms and cause viral damage such as hepatitis and AIDS.
According to scientists, fluid is used several times because it is still very expensive, with a value of $ 1,500 for each rope.
Initial experiments were performed with swine fever, then with non-transplanted people and ultimately tested on the patients.
For the person responsible for the project in Canada, Marcelo Cypel, the results were optimal.
"We've already done ten tests with patients, two of which have eliminated the presence of viruses, and eight have been significantly reduced," Cypel said. In the meantime, Bagnato said bacteria "completely extinct".
In Canada there is already a registered patent and companies interested in the production of equipment and techniques. In Brazil, the goal is to test the kidney and liver program, the two organs most transplanted to the South American country.
Scientists believe that in the future it will be possible to improve the use of organs, reduce their costs and wait time and expand other transplants, such as the heart or the pancreas.
"Today, this is transplantation of everything, uterus, face, but it's very expensive, lung transplantation, for example, costs about $ 160,000, in Brazil, a few tens of thousands a year, but how many people do that?" , asked Bagnato.
Another progress that Bagnato projects in the future is the decontamination of organs in living people, which could effectively generate a cure for diseases.
In 2018, 20,000 transplants were needed in Brazil, adding vital organs such as kidneys, heart, liver and lungs, but only 8,500 were made. According to Brazilian brigade association data, the operation line is more than 30,000 people.