In a world first in children, British and Italian doctors have transplanted a new airway (trachea) into a child and used the child’s own stem cells, in the body, to rebuild it.
The donated trachea was stripped of the donor’s old cells, down to the inert collagen. The child recipient’s bone marrow stem cells were collected, and applied to the graft in situ in the body, to rebuild the cellular component of the trachea. Thus the child’s own cells will be used to make the new airway sealed and effective.
This is the first time that this has been performed
A team of researchers from UCL has won a £500,000 grant to develop a synthetic artery that mimics a natural artery – and could revolutionise the treatment of coronary heart disease.
Professor Alexander Seifalian (UCL Surgery and Interventional Science) and Professor George Hamilton (UCL Surgery and Interventional Science & Royal Free Hospital) and their team will use the Wellcome Trust grant to take their work from the laboratory to a pre-clinical trial.
The team has been developing a new nanomaterial with mechanical properties similar to that of human arteries.
The nanomaterial’s inner surface has been modified to attract stem cells from blood
Ciaran Finn-Lynch, who became the first child in the world to undergo a groundbreaking trachea transplant in March this year, is set to return home to Northern Ireland.
Ciaran underwent the transplant, which involved the removal of his own trachea replaced by a donor windpipe, at Great Ormond Street Hospital. Doctors then used Ciaran’s own stem cells from inside his body to build up the donor windpipe and ensure the organ was not rejected.
Four weeks ago, doctors were able to describe the transplant as a success for the first time after proving vascular supply had returned to