Current Solid Organ Research Needs

Lungs

A number of diseases affect the lung, including asthma, allergies, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic fibrosis, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Researchers need human lung tissue to investigate how these diseases damage the lungs in order to develop new and more effective treatments. Investigators are using donated lungs and lung tissue to:

  • Uncover the receptor for SARS that lets the virus enter lung cells. Drugs that target his receptor could stop the virus from causing deadly lung infections;
  • To test new drugs for asthma;
  • To explore whether certain faulty antibacterial defenses in the cells that line lung airways explain why cystic fibrosis patients are so prone to lung infections;
  • To test gene therapies for cystic fibrosis; and
  • To find new drug targets for asthma, allergies, and COPD. To find these targets, researchers look for molecular differences between normal and diseased lung tissue.

Both diseased and normal lung tissue are valuable to researchers, although we cannot accept lungs from people who tested positive for hepatitis or HIV. Researchers are currently seeking lungs donated from people who suffered from asthma, COPD, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cystic fibrosis, and allergic rhinitis.

NDRI will place whole lungs from deceased donors, as well as lung explants from transplant patients. Researchers need donated lungs delivered within 15 to 24 hours post cross clamp. Most researchers need lungs from people aged between 7 to 60 years, although some will accept lungs from older or younger donors. Most researchers require that the primary bronchus and trachea be attached to lung donations. We will accept donations after cardiac death (DCD) on a case by case basis. Flush and store lung tissue in histidine-tryptophan-ketoglutarate (HTK) solution or in University of Wisconsin (UW) solution.

 
 

NDRI has been a partner in our research for 15 years. As a matter of fact, I probably would have chosen a different avenue of research, had I not had NDRI to help us along.

David Bodine, Ph.D.

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