Life windpipe

Published on January 18th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson

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Artificial wind-pipe made from stem cells transplanted in cancer patient





In the world of medicine nothing holds more promise for making our lives better than the still cutting edge world of stems cells.

This was evidenced once again with the recent operation for Christopher Lyles, from Baltimore, who was suffering from tracheal cancer, or cancer of the wind-pipe, had his wind-pipe removed and replaced with one that was made from a polymer material and then liberally coated with stem cells that had originally been taken from his bone marrow.

There has only been one other attempt at doing this before and both operations were done by the same doctor, Dr. Macchiarini, professor of regenerative surgery at Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

A glass mold of the windpipe was made and this was coated with stem cells, taken from the patient’s bone marrow and nose. This was then left in a bioreactor – a device to stimulate cell growth – for two days to grow. The transplant was then ready!

Further growth of cells can happen within the human body – the best bioreactor known. The cancerous trachea was removed and this stem-cell laden trachea was put in.

via Techie Buzz

We are only scratching the surface of what is capable of being done medically with stem cells so news like this is always encouraging to hear.

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About the Author

Steven has been around the tech world long enough to see most of the stuff we think of cool happen before which leads to a certain bit of cynicism that has contributed to him being known as the cranky old fart of the Internet. Besides sharing some of the goodness that he finds with you here at 42x you can also find him curating some digital goodness at Winextra (tech type stuff) and Rotten Gumdrops (for your daily dose of WTF).



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