Re: Head transplantation done

S.J. Van Sickle (
Tue, 4 Nov 1997 13:21:18 +0000

> To:
> Subject: Re: Head transplantation done
> From: Anders Sandberg <>

> "The latest developments in the 20-year project, including the vital
> step of achieving respiration in the transplanted heads, have been
> reported in an American scientific journal by Robert White, professor
> of neurosurgery at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.
> I have not been able to find it in Medline, though. Anybody else who
> can dig up the original reference? Somehow I think the Times may be
> exaggerating things.

Not the a reference to recent work, but a review of his earlier work:

Neurol Res 1996 Jun;18(3):194-203

The isolation and transplantation of the brain. An
historical perspective emphasizing the surgical solutions to
the design of these classical models.

White RJ, Albin MS, Verdura J, Takaoka Y, Massopust LC, Wolin LR,
Locke GE, Taslitz N, Yashon D

Division of Neurosurgery, Cleveland, Ohio 44109-1998, USA.

Following an historical review of earlier attempts to develop
separated head and brain preparations and their contributions to
modern-day understanding of the neurophysiology and neurochemistry of
the central nervous system, the experiments that eventually led to the
first successful total isolation of the mammalian brain are presented.
The operative strategies emphasizing the anatomical and physiological
problems requiring solution that resulted in vascular and neurogenic
separation from the parent body and cephalon are described. The
innovative engineering concepts that were utilized in the design of
miniaturized equipment to maintain the isolated brain in a living
state under conditions of cross circulation, extracorporeal artificial
perfusion and transplantation are elaborated. Investigations employing
isolated brain and cephalic preparation documenting tissue substrate
requirements, metabolic and rheological conditions prevailing at
various low temperatures and the immunologically privileged state of
the separated organ are briefly presented. The unique opportunities
these isolated brain models offer for study are emphasized as well as
the complexity of their surgical preparation, which, to date, has
limited their universal applications.