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Maryland Test Confirms Drones Can Safely Deliver Human Organs

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Researchers attach a cooler containing a kidney to a DJI M600 Pro drone.

A group of researchers at the University of Maryland is testing aerial drones for the delivery of human organs for transplant.

Credit: Joseph Scalea

University of Maryland (UMD) researchers have tested organ delivery via aerial drone.

The selected drone's motors were positioned directly below their respective rotors so the cooler containing the organ would not be affected by their heat output.

A wireless biosensor, called the Human Organ Monitoring and Quality Assurance Apparatus for Long-Distance Travel (Homal), was designed to measure temperature, barometric pressure, altitude, vibration, and location of the organ en route.

With this setup, the team transported a kidney for about an hour over 14 flight missions, at a maximum distance of 2,415 meters; organ temperature held steady at 2.5 degrees Celsius, traveling at a top speed of 67.6 kilometers an hour, without sustaining any damage.

Said UMD's Joseph Scalea, "This is the first step among a series that I think will get patients closer to their life-saving organs quicker, and with better outcomes."

From IEEE Spectrum
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Abstracts Copyright © 2018 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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