Woman’s ‘Windpipe’ Regrown with Stem Cells

by Malc on December 22, 2008

Claudia Castillo suffered from tuberculosis for years, until a major trauma happened this year – a collapse of part of her windpipe leading to the left lung.

At fist, surgeons thought she would have to have her left lung removed in a life-threatening operation. However in a breakthrough for longevity, a team of surgeons in Barcelona proposed growing a new section of trachea using Claudia’s own stem cells, then transplanting it into her body.

Donor Tissue

A section of windpipe from a donor was first thoroughly stripped of all the donor’s cells, leaving a cartilage ‘scaffold’. Then, Claudia’s stem cells from her own bone marrow were introduced and grown onto the new trachea.

 

The Future of Medicine

A member of the team in Bristol, UK, who re-constructed the windpipe said:

lungs-small

"Surgeons can now start to see and understand the very real potential for adult stem cells and tissue engineering to radically improve their ability to treat patients… this success has proved that we are on the verge of a new age in surgical care".

Second Operation of its Type

This is the second time this type of procedure has been carried out. In a similar procedure, a medical school in North Carolina has said that in 2006 they replaced the bladders of seven children with bladders reconstructed from their own tissue.

Routine Care in Search for Long Life

This operation has tremendous implications for our longevity.

Regrowing part of a trachea will be more or less routine within 5 years.

The regrowth of a new bowel, reproductive organs, or heart is very close, and will also become routine.

A Revolution in Medicine

This is just one exciting new medical technique which will lead to longer, high quality life; very different from the current situation, when ‘patch-up’ surgery too often produces longer life – but of a diminishing quality.

Fantastic.


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