Drs. Melcher & Hansen Design "Kidney Jacket"

June 9, 2022

Drs. Marc Melcher and Keith Hansen have been awarded two grants to fund the commercialization of their "kidney jacket:" a $100k Stanford-Coulter Translational Research Grant and a $50k Stanford Spectrum MedTech Grant to help bring the innovation to market.

The jacket cools the organ as it is being sewn into the transplant recipient.

"In effect we’ve found a way to help address the organ shortage, to extend transplant longevity while improving outcomes and to enable minimally invasive kidney transplantation at a large scale," said Dr. Hansen.

Immediately after removal and during transport, kidneys are put "on ice." Lowering the organ's temperature slows the organ's metabolism, minimizing cell death and improving post-transplant outcomes. However, the kidney currently cannot be cooled during the hours it is sewn into the recipient.

Dr. Hansen says he and his Biodesign team originally came up with the idea for a cooling "jacket" while watching Dr. Melcher perform a kidney transplant.

Additionally, Dr. Hansen says they were granted Breakthrough Device Designation in March of this year, "fast-tracking our approval and collaborations with the FDA," and Dr. Melcher says "more than one company has already shown some interest in acquiring the technology."

Dr. Melcher is an associate professor in the Division of Abdominal Transplantation. His main research focus is on how AI can improve outcomes in organ transplantation. Dr. Keith Hansen is a General Surgery resident at UCSF. He graduated from the Biodesign Innovation Fellowship Program in 2021.

Dr. Marc Melcher

Dr. Keith Hansen