Donor limbs remain viable for longer periods due to improved preservation techniques

Thursday 25 April 2024, 12:30 pm
PhD student
K. Brouwers drs.
prof. dr. D. Ulrich
dr. S.L.M. Hummelink, dr. A.S. Kruit

In a transplantation procedure, donor tissue is preserved on ice prior to transplantation, for example, during transport to the operating room. "Cold storage on ice is the gold standard for external tissue preservation because it reduces the tissue's metabolism and oxygen consumption. Muscle tissue is particularly sensitive to oxygen deprivation, leading to irreversible damage after just 4 hours on ice. This dissertation focuses on a promising new technique, machine perfusion, which allows donor tissue to be preserved without damage for longer than on ice. A follow-up study has shown, among other things, that we can extend the maximum preservation time of a limb outside the body to 24 hours before it can be safely reattached. This means that donors can be sought from greater distances for patients waiting for a donor limb, surgeries can be better planned, and transplant outcomes can be improved."

Kaj Brouwers (1990) obtained his Master's degree in Medicine from Maastricht University in 2016 and subsequently worked as a surgical resident in Amsterdam. In 2018, he commenced his doctoral research, combined with clinical duties in the Department of Plastic Surgery at Radboud University Medical Center. Currently, he is a plastic surgery resident at the same department, focusing on reconstructive surgery.