Viaspan®, also known as University of Wisconsin solution (UW solution), was the first solution thoughtfully designed for use in organ transplantation, and became the first intracellular-like preservation medium. Developed by Folkert Belzer and James Southard for pancreas preservation in the late 1980s, the solution soon displaced EuroCollins solution as the preferred medium for cold storage of livers and kidneys, as well as pancreas. The solution has also been used for hearts and other organs. Viaspan remains what is often called the gold standard for organ preservation, despite the development of other solutions that are in some respects superior.
The guiding principles for the development of Viaspan were
- osmotic concentration maintained by the use of metabolically inert substances like lactobionate and raffinose rather than with glucose
- Hydroxyethyl starch (HES) is used to prevent edema
- Substances are added for to scavenge free radicals, along with steroids and insulin.
- Potassium lactobionate: 100 mM
- KH2PO4: 25 mM
- MgSO4: 5 mM
- Raffinose: 30 mM
- Adenosine: 5 mM
- Glutathione: 3 mM
- Allopurinol: 1 mM
- Hydroxyethyl starch: 50 g/L
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