Fraunhofer Technology Experience

New sources for transplantable organs – How Xenotransplantation helps overcoming the shortage

Brussels / December 11, 2018

How does it feel?

In the new edition of the »Technology Experience« series of events, Fraunhofer gives you the opportunity to get to know more about how Xenotransplantation helps overcoming the shortage of transplantable human organs.

Europe is increasingly lacking transplantable human organs. The declining supply is contrasted with ever-longer waiting lists in the transplant centers worldwide. Each day, thirteen people in Europe and nineteen in the USA die while waiting for an organ transplant. Each 12 minutes, a new person joins the waiting lists in Europe and USA with already more than 210,000 people waiting. Although modern medicine has been able to prolong human life in many cases of destructive diseases, these methods still come along with a significant reduction in quality of life and permanent costs. When the human immune system would accept animal organs, complete healings could become possible and quality of life of the patients could considerably be increased. Therefore, fundamental improvements are needed to make animal organs a genuine alternative to human organs.

Recently developed tools such as the CRISP/Cas9 technology provide improvements in minimizing rejection reactions to animal organs. Another innovative technology is the so called »specific induction of immunological tolerance«, which helps blindfolding the immune system of the transplant recipient against the transplant antigens while preserving all other functions of the immune system at the same time. The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI) in Leipzig, Germany has developed a kind of molecular tool to induce specific tolerance in organ transplantation.

Facing the chances these technologies provide for the supply of transplantable organs, the healing perspectives as well as an expected volume of 8 to 15 Billion Euro for the industry in both Europe and globally, we invite you to discover it yourself.


Agenda 12:30 - 15:00

12:30  Registration and networking lunch

13:00  Welcome
Mathias Rauch, Director Fraunhofer EU Office

13:05  Keynote
Stefaan Van der Spiegel, Head of Sector »Substances of Human Origin«, Directorate General for Health & Food Safety, European Commission (SANTE)

13:20  Presentation and Technology Experience
Prof. Dr. med Frank Emmerich, Director Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI), Leipzig, Germany

13:50  Dessert and Demonstration


The Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI investigates and develops solutions to specific problems at the interfaces of medicine, life sciences and engineering.

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Fraunhofer is Europe's largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people's needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment.


About Fraunhofer Technology Experience Series

This series of lunch events not only showcases cutting-edge technology for the benefit of European citizens but also gives you the opportunity to test it yourself!

Save the date today for our next events:

Feb 2019    Robotics in Healthcare
April 2019   Food/Aquaculture



Prof. Dr. med. Frank Emmrich
Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology (IZI)
Perlickstraße 1,  04103 Leipzig
Phone: +49 341 35536-9100
Fax: +49 341 35536-9111



Fraunhofer EU Office Brussels
94, Rue Royale
+32 2 506 4240