Xenotransplantation

By Gary Jensen and Jordan Craft

What is Xenotransplantation ?

The transplantation of living cells, tissues or organs from one species to another, such as from pigs to humans. The concept was introduced a century ago, when transplanting human organs was considered ethically controversial. Grafts were quickly rejected, however, because of unknown forces later identified as immune responses.

Why is Xenotransplantation used ?

Xenotransplantaion is used because some people find human transplants to be unethical and wrong. So we use animals such as pigs to perform needed transplants.


  • Organ transplants – replacing diseased organs, such as hearts, lungs, livers, pancreases and kidneys.
  • Cell transplants – replacing damaged or destroyed cells in diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
  • Tissue transplants – skin grafts, cornea transplants or bone transplants.
  • Bridging transplants – providing organ function externally to patients with organ failure.

Animals whose organs you can use for Xenotransplantation

Xenotransplantation--defined as the transplantation of animal cells, tissues or organs into human beings--is associated with particular ethical dilemmas, namely the problems of efficiency and safety of this medical procedure. The goal of this study is to explore the ethical dilemmas in xenotransplantation with the background of a personal view of moral life. Also, xenotransplantation will be evaluated as far as the legal regulation of transplantation is concerned. In particular, we will consider patients rights in accordance with existing laws on organ and tissue transplantation, animal research and clinical trials
Xenotransplantation: When People Get Animal Parts

Who Invented Xenotransplatation and When Did He Invent It?

Keith Reemtsma, a surgeon at Tulane University in New Orleans, transplants thirteen chimpanzee kidneys into humans. Twelve of the patients survive between nine and sixty days. One patient, however, survives for nine months on primitive immunosuppression drugs with no signs of rejection, in 1963-64.

Websites Used