Supercooled livers stay alive longer

Not just fresher, says PopSci, but better for transplants:

The procedure was part of an experimental new method for treating donated organs. The method is still in its early stages of development, but it’s showing some promise. Rat livers treated in this new way lasted three times as long in storage as rat livers treated in the way that’s currently the gold standard for human transplants, which involves a special liquid bath and cooling to cold but not supercold temperatures. Before even thinking about testing the method in humans, researchers will have to see if it works in lab animals that are larger than rats—bigger livers are harder to cool safely.

The research is part of an ongoing effort to extend the time doctors are able to store donated organs. Longer storage times means more wiggle room for doctors. Say someone who lives in Asia needs a liver transplant. If storage times were long enough, the Asian patient could get a North American liver, should no compatible livers be available closer by. Right now, doctors are able to store donated livers for up to 12 hours before they really need to transplant them into a person.