A New Solution for Immunosuppressants – Limb Transplant Gel?

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Through a highly collaborative effort, the problem of immunosuppressive therapy and long-term impact on the recipient of a limb or face transplant, led to the development of a new solution: transplant gel.  This collaboration occurred between Dr. Jeff Karp, Associate Professor of Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Robert Riebens from Switzerland, and Praveen Kumar Vemula, who was post-doc in Dr. Karp’s lab and now is faculty in India,

The transplant gel is a hydrogel based technology that can deliver immune suppressant drugs locally. This gel has been engineered in a way that it would only release drugs when inflammation occurs, according to Dr. Karp. Instead of needing to take daily immunosupressants, the gel would potentially only need to be injected every three to four months, thereby greatly reducing toxic risks.

Human trials could be about three to five years away. In Robert Riebens’ lab in Switzerland, trials in rats so far have been showing promising results. The next step is to trial this new technology in larger animals such as pigs.

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