Intermountain transplant surgeons have performed the first-ever liver transplants in Utah with organs preserved using new state-of-the-art technology that keeps the organ cold and healthy as it travels from one site to another for transplant surgery.

The new technology, called portable hypothermic machine perfusion, circulates a specially formulated, cold-temperature medical solution throughout a donated liver inside a machine pump as it travels from the point of donation to the recipient for transplant surgery.

Liver organs are traditionally transferred from one site to the other using what’s called “static” cold preservation, which keeps the liver in a solution inside a cooler filled with ice. The new preservation device was designed to improve on that method, which has been used in most liver transplants since the first U.S. liver transplant in 1967.

The Intermountain transplant research team has used the new device in 10 procedures so far as part of a multicenter clinical trial. Intermountain is one of five transplant centers actively participating in the trial. Looking forward, the technology may help transplant centers identify more viable livers for transplant and close the gap between supply and demand.

Read more this new technology here.