Res Sq. 2023 Dec 21:rs.3.rs-3740098. doi: 10.21203/rs.3.rs-3740098/v1. Preprint.
Organ transplantation is a life-saving procedure affecting over 100,000 people on the transplant waitlist. Ischemia reperfusion injury is a major challenge in the field as it can cause post-transplantation complications and limits the use of organs from extended criteria donors. Machine perfusion technology is used to repair organs before transplant, however, currently fails to achieve its full potential due to a lack of highly sensitive and specific assays to predict organ quality during perfusion. We developed a real-time and non-invasive method of assessing organ function and injury based on mitochondrial oxygenation using resonance Raman spectroscopy. It uses a 441 nm laser and a high-resolution spectrometer to predict the oxidation state of mitochondrial cytochromes during perfusion, which vary due to differences in storage compositions and perfusate compositions. This index of mitochondrial oxidation, or 3RMR, was found to predict organ health based on clinically utilized markers of perfusion quality, tissue metabolism, and organ injury. It also revealed differences in oxygenation with perfusates that may or may not be supplemented with packed red blood cells as oxygen carriers. This study emphasizes the need for further refinement of a reoxygenation strategy during machine perfusion that is based on a gradual recovery from storage. Thus, we present a novel platform that provides a real-time and quantitative assessment of mitochondrial health during machine perfusion of livers, which is easy to translate to the clinic.