Blastocyst complementation refers to the injection of cells into a blastocyst. The technology allows for the creation of chimeric animals, which have the potential to be used as an unlimited source of organ donors. Pluripotent stem cells could be generated from a patient in need of a transplantation and injected into a large animal blastocyst (potentially of a pig), leading to the creation of organ(s) allowing immunosuppression-free transplantation. Various chimera combinations have already been generated, but one of the most recent steps leads to the creation of human-pig chimeras, which could be studied at an embryo stage. Although still far from clinical reality, the potential application is almost unlimited. The present review illustrates the historical steps of intra- and interspecific blastocyst complementation in rodents and large animals, specifically looking at its potential for generation of organ grafts. We also speculate on how it could change transplant indications, on its economic impact, and on the linked ethical concerns.
ASJC Scopus subject areas