Transonic and Transplants
The word “legacy” is becoming archaic. In the information age, we’re overrun by sound bites, ads, video clips—relentless demands for attention. Modern life resembles a carnival, and while carnivals are fun, they’re also fleeting. So, unfortunately, enduring ideas like “legacy” are fading from our culture. However, if you work for, or collaborate with Transonic—or have even been a patient who needed a Transonic device—then you are part of a legacy that may change the lives of your own children and grandchildren.
Organ transplant staff are admirable professionals. They work around the clock, coordinate across state lines, meet impossible deadlines, and save lives. Unfortunately, the technology they have to work with is often less admirable. Traditionally, transplant organs are removed from the donor, placed in hypothermic storage, and then emergency-transported to the recipient. Simply, a priceless human heart is packed on vending machine ice, placed in an Igloo® cooler (yes, the one you use for barbecues), and then a brave person drives like a maniac to the airport before lack of blood flow kills the heart. A depressing percentage of organs don’t survive.
Transmedics, in cooperation with Transonic, is seeking to change that. Transmedics has developed the world’s only ex vivo perfusion machine, meaning it protects and supplies oxygenated blood to an organ outside the body. Transmedics’ OCS system “acts like a miniature intensive care unit that keeps organs alive and healthy by preserving them in a natural state that mimics the human body.”¹
Perfusing an excised organ requires precise flow measurement. That’s why the Transmedics OCS relies on built-in Transonic flow measurements—the technology that you, as a Transonic partner, help to create, distribute, or promote.
Transmedics’ (and Transonic’s) technology allows organs to be transported in a nearly-organic state. There is no hypothermic shock from ice, no ischemic damage from lack of oxygen, and, as a small bonus (since the organ can be preserved longer), no blitzkrieg drive to the airport.
As ex vivo perfusion continues to grow, so does Transonic’s effect on the organ transplant industry. Recently, Mr. Dave Bennett became the first person to receive a xenografted heart from a genetically-modified pig. Genetic tuning is in its infancy, but even so, it allowed Mr. Bennett’s new heart to function more naturally, with less interference from the immune system and lower clotting risk. Mr. Bennett passed away on March 8th, after living for two months with the xenotransplanted heart.
The eventual goal of this technology is to develop tailored organs that are completely compatible with each recipient’s body—and Transonic’s flow technology will be inside every Transmedics OCS that participates in one of these surgeries.
Recipients of fully-compatible organs won’t be on anti-rejection drugs for the rest of their lives. They won’t have to worry about dying from a cold because of those drugs. They won’t have to fret about a dietary mistake that might send them to the hospital. They will be able to return to their lives and families as if they never left, and they will do that in part because of the contribution you made through your work with Transonic. (And if you are a patient, consider that each time you need our technology, it expands our ability to pursue this mission. You have become an integral part of what we do.)
It’s easy to get personally lost in the information age. We might wonder if we’re making a difference. We may question if we do things that truly matter. These are questions of legacy.
If you work with Transonic, what you do matters greatly. As any investor can tell you, the best returns take time. Your work with Transonic may improve lives or, in the future, even help save them, but one thing is certain: you are making a positive difference for thousands of people, some of whom haven’t even been born.
That’s Legacy. That’s all of us.
Thanks for reading,
Transonic Systems Inc.
The Measure of Better Results