08 July 2011

Synthetic Organs ~ First Successful Transplant!

Tia Ghose writes in The Scientist of the first Synthetic Organ Transplant Success, a replacement trachea (windpipe)...
"The recipient of the first synthetic organ transplant -- a synthetic trachea seeded with the patient’s own stem cells -- is sent home from the hospital. [...] The patient had an aggressive, golf ball-sized tumor blocking his airways that had resisted chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Without surgery, the patient would have died, BBC reports. Researchers from University College London built the trachea out of a porous nanocomposite material, using detailed 3D scans of the patient’s trachea to create an exact replica. The researchers then soaked the synthetic trachea in bone marrow stem cells taken from the patient’s nose to reduce the risk of organ rejection and the need for immunosuppressive drugs. After growing for two days in a bioreactor developed by Harvard Bioscience, the millions of holes in the porous synthetic surface were seeded with cells, and the trachea was shipped to Sweden for surgery."
This is just the beginning of a huge wave of personalized medicines, 3D-bioprinting, and replacement body parts to-come! Also, check out the Newsy summary...

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