Ex Vivo Porcine Organ Perfusion Models as a Suitable Platform for Translational Transplant Research

Artif Organs. 2017 Sep;41(9):E69-E79. doi: 10.1111/aor.12865. Epub 2017 Mar 6.


In transplantation surgery, extending the criteria for organ donation to include organs that may have otherwise been previously discarded has provided the impetus to improve organ preservation. The traditional method of cold static storage (CS) has been tried and tested and is suitable for organs meeting standard criteria donation. Ex vivo machine perfusion is, however, associated with evidence suggesting that it may be better than CS alone and may allow for organ donation criteria to be extended. Much of our knowledge of organ preservation is derived from animal studies. We review ex vivo porcine organ perfusion models and discuss the relevance to the field of transplantation surgery. Following a systematic literature search, only articles that reported on experimental studies with focus on any aspect(s) of ex vivo and porcine perfusion of organs yet limited to the context of organ transplantation surgery were included. The database search and inclusion/exclusion criteria identified 22 journal articles. All 22 articles discussed ex vivo porcine organ perfusion within the context of transplant preservation surgery: 8 liver, 3 kidney, 3 lung, 2 pancreas/islet, 4 discussed a combined liver-kidney multiorgan model, 1 small bowel, and 1 cardiac perfusion model systems. The ex vivo porcine perfusion model is a suitable, reliable, and safe translational research model. It has advantages to investigate organ preservation techniques in a reproducible fashion in order to improve our understanding and has implications to extend the criteria for organ donation.

Keywords: Ex-vivo organ perfusion; Large animal model; Organ preservation; Porcine model; Transplantation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cold Ischemia / adverse effects
  • Models, Animal*
  • Organ Preservation / methods*
  • Organ Preservation Solutions / chemistry
  • Organ Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Organ Transplantation / methods*
  • Perfusion / instrumentation
  • Perfusion / methods*
  • Reperfusion Injury / prevention & control*
  • Swine
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / adverse effects
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods
  • Transplants / pathology


  • Organ Preservation Solutions