Italy tests drone transport of transplant kidneys

A group of research organizations in Italy is set to run experiments using drones to transport human kidneys – the first time in Europe the craft will be tested to deliver human organs in simulated transplant situations.

First ever European flights of kidneys in transplant scenarios by drones

The trial flights are slated to begin later this month in Turin, where drones will be used to transport kidneys that would usually be rushed by ground ambulances. The unprecedented experiments in Europe using uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAV) to deliver human organs hope to replicate successful US tests conducted in Maryland. After initial mock runs in 2018, a 2019 flight delivered a kidney that surgeons immediately transplanted to a waiting patient. 

Earlier this year, meanwhile, officials in Minnesota conducted a trial drone flight to deliver a pancreas – the first of its kind. As occurred in the 2018 Maryland tests, biopsies of the Minnesota organ showed no…