Skepticism, Medicine and Science News

Woman Receives Trachea Grown From Stem Cells

A woman from Colombia has become the first person ever to receive a windpipe partially developed from donor tissue and her own adult-derived stem cells. Due to a severe case of tuberculosis, the branch of her trachea going into her left lung (specifically the left primary bronchus) had become so damaged that it collapsed, thus resulting in extreme breathing problems.

A deceased donor provided a 7-centimetre section of windpipe, which researchers at the University of Padua treated with enzymes and detergent to remove all of the donor’s cells. After six weeks, the only thing remaining was the extracellular connective tissue. Stem cells from the Colombian woman’s bone marrow was subsequently treated in a way that made them behave as cells normally found in the trachea, and then inserted onto the connective tissue-matrix. This resulted in a bronchus that could be transplanted, and since all the cells were her own, the chance of rejection were much less than if other cells were used. It has now been five months since the transplantation, and the doctors report no adverse effects. 

This is the second organ ever to be produced outside the body using stem cells, the first were a set of gall bladders in 2006. 

Human bone marrow stem cells


November 19, 2008 - Posted by | Medicine | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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