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Using a Lab-Grown Trachea, Surgeons Conduct the World’s First Synthetic Organ Transplant

July 8, 2011 Comments off

popsci

Making a Trachea Left: Two UCL researchers with the synthetic windpipe. Right: The scaffold after it has been filled in with stem cells, just prior to transplant. University College London

Surgeons working at Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden have taken a huge step forward for regenerative medicine by successfully executing the world’s first synthetic organ transplant. The donor-less transplant saved the life of a 36-year-old cancer patient, who is doing well now after having received a new windpipe grown from his own stem cells.

This story is about as international as it gets: The Eritrean patient, Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene, was pursuing his doctorate in geology in Iceland when his trachea was consumed by an inoperable tumor that grew so bad that it was actually blocking his breathing. So 3-D scans of his windpipe were sent to scientists at University College London, which crafted a glass scaffold that was a perfect match for Beyene’s trachea Read more…