Location: Chicago, IL, USA

Problem: Over 70,000 Americans are on the waiting list to receive kidney donations, the highest number for any donation group. Yet for nearly as long as organ donation has been available, organs were transported in ice-filled coolers intended for picnics, not physicians. Without any way to regulate or monitor their viability, organs often would not make the journey from donation to transplantation.

Client: IDEO in collaboration with Organ Recovery Systems

Designers: David Kravitz, John Brassil and Douglas Schein (Organ Recovery Systems); Dickon Isaacs and Jerry O’Leary (IDEO)

Solution: IDEO in collaboration with Organ Recovery Systems created the LifePort Kidney Transporter, a cooler with a self-contained pump that perfuses the kidney with a cold liquid solution. The kidney is housed in an egg-like unit that also monitors its viability in a clear, easy-to-read format, and is easily transported from procurement site to surgery. The same team now plans to create similar units for other organs.

Completion: 2003

For more info: Organ Recovery Systems, IDEO

Posted May 10, 2007