Engineering and Research Developments

Significant progress is being made in the construction and programming the new whole body perfusion system. Orders have been made with local contractors for components that will not be made in house.
This system represents a significant improvement both our current whole body clinical capability and our research prospects. In particular, improved data collection will increase our ability to learn from cases, and improved cooling will greatly reduce exposure to cryoprotectant at the higher temperatures at which it is most toxic. This is one of the projects mentioned in the fund raising letter for the Bina and Martine Rothblatt Matching Grant program, and would not be possible without their support and the support of all who made matching contributions.

The R&D Committee approved the launch of our nitrogen shipper project. We’re beginning with a feasibility study that will review airline regulations and customs restrictions regarding the transport of a shipping container with a liquid nitrogen reservoir. The goal is to establish if there are any limitations that may impact the engineering portions of this project, so that we may adjust the design before spending a great deal of money on prototype development. Such a shipper would allow remote vitrifications to take place safely, and is also one of the proposed projects in the matching grant announcement. We anticipate preliminary results of this study will be available in a couple of months.
Chana Williford has also ordered and received most of the equipment for our our new hypothermia and vitrification laboratory. The lab will replace the old store room next to the former OR. This is a continuation of the research program approved by the R&D committee and mentioned in the last emailed Alcor News,
Finally, at long last, the automated fill system in the new patient care bay has been completed. It was used this week to fill the dewars and the bulk tank with virtually no handling by the staff, beyond flipping a single switch on each of the dewars and turning a valve on the bulk tank. Kudos to Hugh Hixon for seeing this project through to a major milestone. The final step will be to install an automated shut-off valve for each of the dewars, so that the nitrogen will automatically stop flowing as the dewar capacity is reached.