Scientist Leon Bunegin, a retired anesthesiology university professor from Lone Star State, has been working for the past 40 years in his academic lab. There, he may have found the solution to having to transport human organs with the clock ticking as medical staff rushes the cooler to the transplant site. There, they try to get there before the procuring organ deteriorates to a point where it is rendering them useless. “The time limit is essentially four hours,” Bunegin said. “After four hours, the major functions of the heart start to decline rapidly … after six hours the organ becomes non-transplantable. And that would be a terrible waste considering that 17 people die every day in the U.S. waiting for an organ transplant. Moreover, this is an amazing development for patients awaiting these lifesaving heart transplants across the U.S.
Bunegin has invented a new medical device called VP.S Encore. This medical device can keep a heart viable a lot longer than the ice chest method. Thereby pumping the organ with oxygen.
As a result, A biotech company based in a tiny private lab in the South Texas Medical Center, Bunegin is in charge of a team of scientists, engineers, and medical experts, those include some of his former students. He is the chief scientist officer for Vascular Perfusion Solutions.
The device is about the same size as the six-pack cooler but uses much more advanced technology. Currently, his team is testing the device.
It uses Bunegin’s invention for human heart preservation and transport. The company has begun the process of getting clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
A pig heart is viable as long as a day using the patent-pending perfusion technology. It was used by the Bunegin model because of the preliminary findings.