In the news: Transplant organ delivery by drone

In the news: Transplant organ delivery by drone

In the news: Transplant organ delivery by drone


Drones to deliver organs for transplant? The University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site managed the test flights that suggest the technology may be the ultimate method for delivering life-saving organs from donors to recipients.

The work was covered in a January 9 story in The Baltimore Sun. It begins:

At a Southern Maryland airfield, Dr. Joseph Scalea watched a drone carrying a kidney in a cardboard cooler fly 3 miles.

The test flight, repeated 14 times, was the culmination of three years’ work by the University of Maryland Medical Center transplant surgeon, who sees the unmanned aircraft as the ultimate method for delivering life-saving organs from donors to recipients.

“I did a transplant where the organ flew 1,500 miles from Alabama on a commercial aircraft and it took 29 hours,” Scalea said. “That’s ridiculous. It could have been here in six. And yet that’s accepted as how we do things.”

And continues:

The tests will help change the U.S. regulations, which are more stringent than those in developing countries, said Matt Scassero, director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site in St. Mary’s County.

Another challenge is that drones capable of flying organs across the country aren’t yet commercially available, Scassero said. Such drones would have to be engine-powered rather than battery-driven. They also would need to have the ability to avoid obstacles and to carry a reliable method of preserving organs.

The university’s drone test site managed Scalea’s test flights. They started small, flying only 3 miles, the approximate distance between the rooftops of two urban hospitals.

Continue reading at The Baltimore Sun.

Related Articles:
NASA’s ASRS an Effective Tool for Improving Unmanned Aviation Safety
Firebird Tour Makes Stop in St. Mary’s County
Softer, More Resilient Robots
New undergraduate minor in robotics and autonomous systems
The Path to Urban Air Mobility...And Beyond
History-Making Organ Flight Honored with Industry Award
UMD Team's Autonomous Drone Takes 3rd in International Race
Relive Totality With Clark School Images, Videos
Watch the Clark School's Total Eclipse Live Stream at 2:40 p.m.

January 9, 2019


Prev   Next

Current Headlines

Alumnus David Bader Receives 2021 Sidney Fernbach Award

In Memoriam: John William Fritz (‘17, electrical engineering)

UMD research team creates ‘switchable’ adhesive for repairing cuts and tears in tissue

Torrents Awarded Ben Dyer Centennial Chair

Improving Access to Cervical Cancer Diagnostic and Therapeutics Tech

Kollár Receives NSF MRI Grant to Enhance Micro/Nanofabrication Initiatives 

UMD Mechanical Engineering Advances in Rankings

Liangbing Hu’s HighT-Tech Wins 2021 Spinoff Prize

News Resources

Return to Newsroom

Search News

Archived News

Events Resources

Events Calendar