Genetics from Cambridge University have successfully changed the blood type in the kidneys of three dead donors, and the study will help to increase the number of donor organs available for transplantation.
In their work, scientists used a standard-thermal perfusion machine. This device connects to the human kidney and simulates a circulatory system to run oxygen-rich blood through the organ.
Researchers added a special enzyme to the blood, acting as "molecular scissors," removing blood type markers.
The kidney from a person with blood type A and vice versa is related to the presence of certain antigens: a person with A-type antigens has immunity to develop antibodies against type B antigens. But changing the kidney blood type to universal would allow for more transplants, since these organs can be used for people with any type of blood without risk of rejection.
One of the greatest limitations on who can be transplanted is the fact that you must have a compatible blood type.
Before the new method can be used in real-life medical operations, scientists study how the universal kidney will work in a normal blood circulation system for patients with blood groups II and III. They plan to test with a perfusium machine, pass blood to different groups through the organ, and then perform clinical trials in humans.