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  • 11/26/2011

First artificial windpipe, a success

dr. paolo macchiarini (l) and his surgical team transplant the windpipe.

A 36-year-old Eritrean has received the world’s first artificial trachea made with his own stem cells, in Karolinska University Hospital of Stockholm, Sweden.

Andemariam Teklesenbet Beyene received the artificial trachea during a 12-hour operation, in which physicians removed his cancer-affected trachea and replaced it with a synthetic scaffold covered with the patient’s own stem cells.

Professor Paolo Macchiarini and his team build a glass model of the afflicted section of patients' windpipe before the operation and seeded it with precursor or stem cells of trachea tissue.

“The patient has been doing great for the last four months and has been able to live a normal life,”‌ The Lancet quoted Tomas Gudbjartsson, a professor at Landspitali University Hospital and University of Iceland in Reykjavik as saying.

“For the last two months he has been able to focus on his studies and the plan is that he will defend his thesis at the end of this year,”‌ Gudbjartsson added.

Since the artificial organ was made of patient’s own body cells, there would be no risk of rejection by the body and no need for using immunosuppressant drugs which may cause side effects such as curbing body’s defense against infections and any possible remaining cancer cell.

The results were so satisfying that the Swedish team has just carried out their second transplant, on a 30-year-old US man, who also had a trachea cancer.

The scaffold was made from nanofibres and thus "represents a further advance," Professor Macchiarini said.

“We will continue to improve the regenerative medicine approaches for transplanting the windpipe and extend it to the lungs, heart, and esophagus,”‌ he added.

Macchiarini’s team is planning to use the technique for treating their third patient, a 13-month-old South Korean infant.

Source: presstv.com

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