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Professor David McGiffin, 2023 Vanguard Grant

Enhancing heart transplant success with mitochondrial transplantation

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Enhancing heart transplant success with mitochondrial transplantation

Professor David McGiffin, The University of Queensland

2023 Vanguard Grant - Two Year

Years funded: 2024 - 2026

Heart transplantation is a life-saving treatment for end-stage heart failure, but due to shortage of donor hearts, many patients die waiting for a transplant. Currently, donor hearts are preserved by static cold storage (ice slush), which causes additional cardiac damage, and increases the risk of post-transplant graft failure. For this, researchers are exploring approaches to protect and restore the function of donor hearts. The mitochondrion is the energy powerhouse of the cell, and recent studies have shown that ischemia can cause mitochondrial damage which can impair post-transplant heart function. Thus, replenishing the myocardium with healthy mitochondria could improve heart function. In this study, we propose to introduce mitochondrial transplantation immediately before transplanting hearts to recipients, in order to enhance heart function and reduce graft failure. The study will generate proof-of-concept evidence to demonstrate the potential of mitochondrial transplantation to improve donor heart function, ultimately saving more lives.

Last updated12 March 2024