The promise of organ and tissue preservation to transform medicine

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Giwa S, Lewis JK, Alvarez L, Langer R, Roth AE, Church GM, Markmann JF, Sachs DH, Chandraker A, Wertheim JA, Rothblatt M, Boyden ES, Eidbo E, Lee WPA, Pomahac B, Brandacher G, Weinstock DM, Elliott G, Nelson D, Acker JP, Uygun K, Schmalz B, Weegman BP, Tocchio A, Fahy GM, Storey KB, Rubinsky B, Bischof J, Elliott JAW, Woodruff TK, Morris GJ, Demirci U, Brockbank KGM, Woods EJ, Ben RN, Baust JG, Gao D, Fuller B, Rabin Y, Kravitz DC, Taylor MJ, Toner M (2017) The promise of organ and tissue preservation to transform medicine, Nature Biotechnology 35(6):530-542.

The ability to replace organs and tissues on demand could save or improve millions of lives each year globally and create public health benefits on par with curing cancer. Unmet needs for organ and tissue preservation place enormous logistical limitations on transplantation, regenerative medicine, drug discovery, and a variety of rapidly advancing areas spanning biomedicine. A growing coalition of researchers, clinicians, advocacy organizations, academic institutions, and other stakeholders has assembled to address the unmet need for preservation advances, outlining remaining challenges and identifying areas of underinvestment and untapped opportunities. Meanwhile, recent discoveries provide proofs of principle for breakthroughs in a family of research areas surrounding biopreservation. These developments indicate that a new paradigm, integrating multiple existing preservation approaches and new technologies that have flourished in the past 10 years, could transform preservation research. Capitalizing on these opportunities will require engagement across many research areas and stakeholder groups. A coordinated effort is needed to expedite preservation advances that can transform several areas of medicine and medical science.