Synthetic Windpipe Used to Replace Cancerous One
Second procedure of this kind and first for an American
Surgeons in Sweden have replaced the cancerous windpipe of a Maryland man with one made in a laboratory and seeded with the man’s cells. The windpipe, or trachea, made from minuscule plastic fibers and covered in stem cells taken from the man’s bone marrow, was implanted in November.
"What we did is surgically remove his malignant tumor," Dr. Macchiarini said. "Then we replaced the trachea with this tissue-engineered scaffold. The Y-shaped scaffold, fashioned from nano-size fibers of a type of plastic called PET that is commonly used in soda bottles, was seeded with stem cells from Mr. Lyles’s bone marrow. It was then placed in a bioreactor — a shoebox-size container holding the stem cells in solution — and rotated like a rotisserie chicken to allow the cells to soak in. After two days, it was installed in Mr. Lyles during an elaborate operation in which it was sutured to his throat and lungs.
David Green, MBA '91 the President of Harvard Bioscience, the Massachusetts company that made the bioreactor, said that once the cells were inside the scaffold, they began to grow and divide and produce cartilage. "After two or three days, I think you can realistically call it tissue," he said. Because Mr. Lyles’s own cells were used, there is no need for drugs to prevent his body from rejecting the windpipe, which is a common problem in transplants using donated organs.
The complete article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/13/health/research/surgeons-transplant-synthetic-trachea-in-baltimore-man.html?ref=health.