Synthetic windpipe transplanted for first time

July 8th, 2011 - 4:20 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 8 (IANS) In a first-ever medical feat, a 36-year-old patient has been given a new windpipe made from a synthetic scaffold seeded with his own stem cells.

He is well on the way to complete recovery. The operation was performed June 9 at Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden by Paolo Macchiarini and colleagues.

Macchiarini led a team including Alexander Seifalian from University College London, Britain who designed and built the tracheal scaffold.

Harvard Bioscience of the US produced a specifically-designed bioreactor used to seed the scaffold with the patient’s own stem cells.

The patient had been suffering from late stage tracheal cancer. Despite maximum treatment with radiation therapy, the tumour had reached approximately six cm in length and was extending to the main bronchus, according to a Karolinska statement.

It was progressing and almost completely blocked the trachea. Since no suitable donor windpipe was available, the transplantation of the synthetic tissue engineered trachea was performed as the last possible option.

The patient was referred by Tomas Gudbjartsson of Landspitali University Hospital (Iceland) who was also part of the surgical team.

The successful transplantation could open new and very promising therapeutic possibilities for thousands of patients who suffer from tracheal cancer or other conditions that destroy, block or constrict the airway.

–Indo-Asian News service

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