When patients undergo organ transplants, ensuring their bodies don't reject the foreign implants is of the utmost importance. Blood vessels in organs are naturally protected by a coating of sugars that suppress reactions from immune systems, but these sugars are damaged in the process of procurement for transplantation. A recent SciTechDaily article discussed a new method for preventing organ transplant rejection, and it involves coating the blood vessels with a special polymer that mimics the missing protective sugars.
The concept was developed by a team of researchers at the Centre for Blood Research and Life Sciences Institute, and tested successfully in mice by collaborators at SFU and Northwestern University. If human trials prove successful, the vessel coating technique could eliminate the need for drugs that prevent the body from attacking new organs, which typically come with serious side effects.