Knowledge and techniques in medicine and surgery have reached such sophistication today that replacement of organs, which formerly seemed impossible, has become a reality. The progress in organ replacement has taken two pathways. One had led to transplantation of viable organs from one person to another, and was made possible, though not consistently successful, by the use of immunosuppressive agents. The other has led to implantation of artificial functioning organs composed entirely of nonliving and inert materials. Use of artificial organs would seem more desirable, since transplantation involves the use of a donor with the attendant problems of availability, ethics, and immune reactions. Although problems have arisen in the development of prosthetic organs, the difficulties are not insurmountable. The search is challenging and must continue.
The prosthetic lung presently under consideration is designed not as a replacement for a lung but as a ventilatory booster for patients with diffuse pulmonary
Bodell BR, Head JM, Head LR, Formolo AJ. An Implantable Artificial Lung: Initial Experiments in Animals. JAMA. 1965;191(4):301–303. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080040043012
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