BrainEx technology kept hundreds of pig brains alive outside of bodies for up to 36 hours

Yale University neuroscientist Nenad Sestan disclosed that a team he leads had experimented on between 100 and 200 pig brains obtained from a slaughterhouse, restoring their circulation using a system of pumps, heaters, and bags of artificial blood warmed to body temperature.

BrainEx technology involves connecting a brain to a closed loop of tubes that circulate heated artificial blood throughout the brain’s vessels – allowing oxygen to flow to cells even deep in the brain.

This is similar to the way scientists preserve other organs such as heart or lungs for transplants.

Nature – The ethics of experimenting with human brain tissue

BioEthicist do not have issues with organoids (small living organs of brain matter), ex-vivo brain tissue work (working on dead tissue out of the body) and chimeras (Chimaeras. The third class of experimental brain model involves the transplantation of human cells, derived in vitro from pluripotent stem cells, into the brains of animals such as rodents.)

Currently, if research on human tissue occurs outside a living person, only the processes of obtaining, storing, sharing and identifying the tissue fall under the regulations and guidelines that limit what interventions can be conducted on people. As brain surrogates become larger and more sophisticated, the possibility of them having capabilities akin to human sentience might become less remote.