NRI Dr. Hemant Thatte developed a 21-chemical solution named SOMAH Solution on 20 February 2014. The solution could preserve a donated organ for up to a week before a transplant. SOMAH Solution in Sanskrit means elixir of immortality.
In studies conducted on pigs, the solution has been found to be effective in preserving tissues for up to a week. The study on pigs showed that the hearts stored in SOMAH solution for 24 hours can be resuscitated without medicines as against other solutions that allow for only four hours. That is, with the help of SOMAH, the process of deterioration can be slowed down. So, it can be used for long distance transportation.
The biggest advantage of SOMAH is that it can be used at room temperatures. If an organ can be maintained in the same energy status it was used to before being retrieved, the organ is in a better state when transplanted. It can get into rhythm sooner.
At present, hearts and lungs need to be transplanted within 4-6 hours of being recovered from a brain-dead donor, the liver within eight hours and kidneys within a little more than 24 hours. Moreover, the available organs cannot be transported long-distance for transplant and have to be made available locally.
Dr. Hemant Thatte is a senior cardiovascular surgeon at Harvard University who was born in Dadar and raised in Pune. Dr Thatte has worked in Harvard for more than two decades. Over a decade ago, he synthesized a solution called GALA that could preserve blood vessels used as bypass channels during heart surgeries. GALA is in use across the US and France.
Who: Dr. Hemant Thatte
When: 20 February 2014