European Doctors Transplant Human Wind Pipe

November 20, 2008

(ChattahBox) — European doctors have transplanted human wind pipes successfully at four European universities. They used stem cells from recipient’s own bone marrow to reline a donor trachea and prevent its rejection by the immune system. Physicians performed the operation in June earlier this year, which was first of its kind and used the stem cells in transplanting an airway. The operation is considered extremely important as it allowed doctors to replace a much larger segment than it was possible earlier. The natural stem cells from the recipient’s body will transform themselves into the kind of cells that are normally line the windpipe and help in clearing the mucus in the windpipe.

The operation was done at Hospital Clinic in Barcelona, Spain, and was successful, reported today’s online edition of ‘The Lancet’. The patient was a 30 year old woman whose left airway collapsed due to tuberculosis. Doctors obtained the trachea from an organ donor and stripped it off its original cells that would have been rejected by patient’s body. They then took healthy cells from the healthy right trachea and grafted them in the stripped organ donor’s trachea. They marinated the trachea in chemicals in the lab to coax the trachea into rebuilding itself. When the trachea was ready, they transplanted it into the patient.

The transplant was highly successful as the patient’s body accepted the trachea without immune suppressing drugs.


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