Vascular Perfusion Solutions (VPS) has developed a first-of-its-kind medical device—Ulisses—with the aim of preserving and resuscitating vascularised tissue in both organs and limb for more than 24 hours. A press release reports that, move to the next level of research with the device, VPS launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds to advance the pace of its research, including the provision of devices at no cost to selected participants around the world.

With the Ulisses device, according to the press release, a heart can have its viability extended from only four hours to more than 24 hours. Other organs gain a similar advantage. To achieve this advance, VPS is working to further develop the its technology (licensed by the University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, USA).

In addition to the organ transport capabilities of the device, VPS is exploring the use of the Ulisses to save limbs that are lost in accidents or on the battlefield. Until the creation of the Ulisses device, there has been no major advancement in limb recovery and preservation technology. Furthermore, the Ulisses device can serve as a bioreactor, to quickly grow skin from a recipient’s own cells. Burn patients would benefit immensely from having a supply of their own skin to use to cover damaged areas. The press release states that VPS plans to use the FDA’s Expedited Access Program to begin a streamlined review process, to get the device into early clinical use.

Tom DeBrooke, VPS president and CEO, comments: “With Ulisses, the potential impact for patients—more organs for transplant, better compatibility matches, and fewer organ rejections—is tremendous. The GoFundMe campaign will help advance this critically important, life and limb-saving technology.”

As a device, the press release states, Ulisses is highly portable, single-use/disposable, simple to operate, light-weight, and inexpensive. It can easily be transported in a commercial airliner—stored in an overhead compartment, or under the seat. The commercial version of the device will be designed for efficient operation, using only a small oxygen cylinder for power and active perfusion, to allow transport of organs or limbs anywhere in the world.