I am currently reading for a DPhil in Medical Sciences on an RDM Scholarship. I work under the supervision of Prof. Christopher Rodgers (Cardiovascular Medicine), Prof. Constantin-C. Coussios (Institute of Biomedical Engineering) and Prof. Peter Friend (Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences).
My research focuses on using MRI techniques to assess the viability of livers being preserved using normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) technology for transplantation.
In the UK, a shortage of suitable donor organs means that 1/3 of patients have to wait longer than 1 year for a transplant and 20% of patients on the waiting list die before receiving a liver transplant. Clinical evidence suggests that enhanced preservation techniques could provide a way of saving many livers which are currently offered for donation but deemed too high risk to transplant.
Normothermic machine perfusion (NMP) is a preservation technique that keeps the liver in a functional state ex vivo by supplying it with oxygenated blood and nutrition at normal body temperature. This allows longer preservation times and provides the opportunity to make in-depth assessment of the liver’s function.
I am performing perfusion studies on human livers that have been determined unsuitable for transplantation. By using a novel perfusion system, which allows the liver to be perfused inside an MRI scanner, I aim to gain an understanding of the structural and metabolic changes that occur in the livers during preservation. This knowledge can then be applied to gain a better understanding of what makes a liver suitable to transplant.