Xenotransplantation (from the Greek ξένος - “foreign” and transplantation - “transfer”), or interspecies transplantation - transplantation of organs, tissues and / or cellular organelles from an organism of one biological species into an organism or its part of another biological species.
The concept of creating new animals by combining the fragments and organs of different animals is widely represented in ancient mythology. For example, the guardian spirit from the Sumerian-Akkadian mythology shedu (lamassu) was depicted as a creature with the body of a bull or lion, with eagle wings and a human head. In Greek mythology, chimeras were described as a fire-breathing monster with the head and neck of a lion, the body of a goat and a tail in the form of a snake. In Hinduism, the god Ganesha (the son of the god Shiva) received the head of an elephant after the god Shiva accidentally tore his head apart. The founder of xenotransplantation, Keith Reemtsma, noted that perhaps one of the earliest examples of xenotransplantation was the attempt by Daedalus and his son Icarus to fly across the sea from Crete to mainland Greece using the wings of a bird attached to their weapons.
The first attempt of human xenotransplantation described in the literature is the alleged fact of transplanting a dog bone to close a defect in the skull of a Russian soldier, described in Hob van Meekeren in 1682. The bone allegedly grew, but the soldier had to remove it, as he was denied the sacraments of the church. The reliability of this fact raises significant doubts. Blood xenotransfusion knows more reliable attempts. The first reliable attempt to transfuse the blood of a sheep to a human was made simultaneously by Richard Lower in England and Jean-Baptiste Denis in France. Both were unsuccessful. Due to unsatisfactory results, xenotransfusion was banned for many years.
In the 19th century, repeated attempts were made to perform skin xenotransplantation with a free flap or a pedicled flap. Pedunculated sheep skin transplantation, for example, required fixing the donor and recipient with a single flap for several days. Attempts have been made to use frogs, sheep, rabbits, dogs, cats, rats, chickens and pigeons as skin donors. skin graft