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Critical review of genetically multi-modified xeno-organ donor pigs


The number of donated human organs and tissues for patients with terminal organ failure falls far short of the need. Alternative sources, such as organs and tissues from animals, are therefore urgently required. During the past few years, major progress has been made in the development of genetically multi-modified donor pigs, and their organs have been shown to be safe and efficacious in life-supporting transplantation models into non-human primates, paving the way to clinical xenotransplantation studies. Here, we summarize recent developments in pig genome engineering and discuss efforts to develop the optimum donor pig for xenotransplantation. In addition, we speculate on how many genetic modifications may be required for initial xenotransplantation clinical trials.