Genetically modified freeze dried pig heart, United Kingdom, 1999

Made:
1999 in United Kingdom

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

A freeze-dried pig heart genetically engineered by Imutran Limited in 1999 to be suitable for transplantation into humans, a process known as xenotransplantation.

A pig’s heart is close in structure and size to a human heart. This freeze dried example was genetically engineered to be suitable for transplant into humans so the body will not reject the new organ. The practice of using animal organs for human body parts is known as xenotransplantation. The first animal-to-human heart transplant took place in 1964, and was carried out by James D Hardy (1918-2003). The patient survived for only two hours with a chimpanzee heart. This heart had been genetically modified by Imutran Ltd, who donated it to the Science Museum’s collections.

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Details

Category:
Biotechnology
Measurements:
overall (estimate): 60 x 90 x 120 mm
Identifier:
2001-725
type:
pig heart
credit:
Imutran Limited
status:
Permanent collection

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