The first time in history of head transplantation was carried out in dogs in russia 1950.
Charles Claude Guthrie succeeded in grafting one dog’s head onto the side of another’s neck on May 21, 1908.
Sergei Brukhonenko developed a device called the autojektor, a primitive Heart-lung machine. Brukhonenko carried out several studies on canines with the autojektor, including a famous experiment where the machine was attached to the decapitated head of a dog, depicted in the 1940 documentary Experiments in the Revival of Organisms. The head remained in a semi-conscious state and responded to simple stimuli such as the sound of a hammer or the administration of eye drops. This experiment provides a potential example of how to keep a donor’s head alive while the body of the recipient is prepared. While no further experiments of this type were carried out, a second autojektor for use on humans was developed by Brukhonenko in the same year, with modern ECMO machines bearing many similarities to the autojektor.
Vladimir Demikhov experimented with dog head transplantation in the Soviet Union in the 1950s. His transplant subjects typically died due to immune reactions.
In 1959, China claimed that they had succeeded in transplanting the head of one dog to the body of another twice.
Dr. Vladimir Demikhov’s work, among others, was deeply influential for the future science of organ transplant, as he pioneered many different forms of transplant in the 1940s and 1950s, including the use of immuno-suppressants. His work was well known by other scientists and during the 1950s and 1960s, numerous heart transplants were performed on dogs in the United States by Dr. Norman Shumway of Stanford University and Dr. Richard Lower of the Medical College of Virginia. The first human heart transplant was performed by Christiaan Barnard in South Africa, in 1967; however, as they did not have the chemical agents to utilize immuno-suppressants, the patient receiving the transplant died.
Russian computer scientist Valery Spiridonov will undergo the world’s first head transplant in December, 2017
Chinese surgeon Ren Xiaoping and Italian surgeon Sergio Canaveroconfirmed that they will likely perform the procedure at Harbin Medical University in China along with a Chinese-Italian team.
Thirty-year-old Spiridonov, who has an incurable muscle-wasting condition called Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, was confirmed for the procedure earlier this year after volunteering for the project.
When I realised that I could participate in something really big and important, I had no doubt left in my mind and started to work in this direction,” Spiridonov told CEN. “The only thing I feel is the sense of pleasant impatience, like I have been preparing for something important all my life and it is starting to happen,”
Lasting up to 36 hours, the procedure involves removing the heads from the donor and patient and then transplanting Spiridonov’s head onto the donor body with glue and stitches. Spiridonov’s head and the donor’s body will be cooled during the procedure to extend the cells lifespan without oxygen.
“According to Canavero’s calculations, if everything goes to plan, two years are needed to verify all scientific calculations and plan the procedure’s details,” Spiridonov said. “It isn’t a race. No doubt, the surgery will be done once the doctor and the experts are 99 percent sure of its success.”
Spiridonov will be induced into a month-long coma post operation while a cocktail of drugs will help stop the transplanted parts rejecting each other. It is not yet publically known where the donor body will come from.
Ren said the procedure will go only ahead on the scheduled date if research and calculations adhere to the project’s milestones. “A lot of media have been saying we will definitely attempt the surgery by 2017, but that’s only if every step before that proceeds smoothly,” Ren told