Friday, July 08, 2011
Perusing the Wall Street Journal this morning, I saw news of a medical breakthrough that combines the use of stem cells with nanotechnology. The whole article is available free online, unlike much of the rest of the paper's content:
Doctors have replaced the cancer-stricken windpipe of a patient with an organ made in a lab, a landmark achievement for regenerative medicine. The patient no longer has cancer and is expected to have a normal life expectancy, doctors said.Later on in the article is a general description of how the artificial windpipe was made.
The transplantation of an entirely synthetic and permanent windpipe had never been successfully done before the June 9 procedure. The researchers haven't yet published the details in a scientific journal.
"It's yet another demonstration that what was once considered hype [in the field of tissue engineering] is becoming a life-changing moment for patients," said Alan Russell, director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine in Pittsburgh, who wasn't involved in the latest operation.