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← Surgeons carry out first synthetic windpipe transplant

Surgeons carry out first synthetic windpipe transplant - Comments

Nick LaRue's Avatar Comment 1 by Nick LaRue

This technology amazes me, it's so sci-fi and I hope they continue to progress it to other organs. (I've seen work on heart, liver and other organs already which are in their infancy stages) This would be the ultimate in transplant technology and will go a long way in helping those who desperately need one. Imagine the lives it can save and no rejection drugs.

To steal a quote from RD and modifying it a bit, "Science gives you the ability to replace organs, religion...." you know the rest. :)

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 20:16:40 UTC | #848033

Dhamma's Avatar Comment 2 by Dhamma

This is beautiful in so many ways, but it's most beautiful in a subliminal fashion. Imagine this scenario only fifty years ago: British scientists create a windpipe which is flown to Stockholm, where a team lead by an Italian surgeon transplants an organ in a patient from Eritrea who is studying in Iceland.

When there is no hope, there is hope after all.

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 20:33:59 UTC | #848036

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 3 by Stafford Gordon

One of our daughters is at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm; I don't know if this work has any connection with the instutute, but I'm so proud of our daughter that I want tell the world!

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 21:14:00 UTC | #848042

ridelo's Avatar Comment 4 by ridelo

Indeed, beautiful is so many ways like Dhamma said. Such messages give me hope for the world wherein my grandchildren have to grow up.

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 21:32:02 UTC | #848053

I'm_not's Avatar Comment 5 by I'm_not

Comment 2 by Dhamma :

This is beautiful in so many ways, but it's most beautiful in a subliminal fashion. Imagine this scenario only fifty years ago: British scientists create a windpipe which is flown to Stockholm, where a team lead by an Italian surgeon transplants an organ in a patient from Eritrea who is studying in Iceland.

When there is no hope, there is hope after all.

That is a wonderful way of looking at this incredible breakthrough.

Sat, 09 Jul 2011 22:19:10 UTC | #848057

Reckless Monkey's Avatar Comment 6 by Reckless Monkey

I teach 3D modelling to my students in Technology at school CG stuff but I have very much in mind what is happening in 3D modelling, printing/prototyping and this type of thing. Its amazing that this stuff in now with us, in its infancy yes, but clearly already saving lives. I'm sure the pope would have something to say about playing god etc. stuff em! I think the fact that this guy has now been able to meet his 3 month old child as a result of this says it all.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 01:20:29 UTC | #848080

houseofcards's Avatar Comment 7 by houseofcards

this is AMAZING

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 02:10:17 UTC | #848086

weavehole's Avatar Comment 8 by weavehole

I think I've just understood what is meant by the term The Human Race.

We are, all of us, in a race.

Some humans are racing forwards to create a world where we have worked together to find answers to all medical and societal problems thus increasing general well-being.

Other humans are in a race to separate each other into handy little pockets of 'humanity' along religious and national lines.

I wonder who'll win...

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 03:00:53 UTC | #848091

dandelion fluff's Avatar Comment 9 by dandelion fluff

I read this before, and I still can't help wondering if it would be weird to have that glass inside you. I guess they used it because it is inert, right, but I'd be afraid of breaking it if I fell down or something. (Yeah, I suppose they took the physical factors into account, but with me it'd be a psychological hang-up.)

Otherwise, totally cool, and I like to see progress made with autologous stem cell therapy because it eliminates the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 04:47:15 UTC | #848105

silentbutler's Avatar Comment 10 by silentbutler

Comment 9 by dandelion fluff :

I read this before, and I still can't help wondering if it would be weird to have that glass inside you. I guess they used it because it is inert, right, but I'd be afraid of breaking it if I fell down or something. (Yeah, I suppose they took the physical factors into account, but with me it'd be a psychological hang-up.) Otherwise, totally cool, and I like to see progress made with autologous stem cell therapy because it eliminates the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Your concerns are correct, the rings that make up your upper airway, your trachea, are cartilaginous and not only capable of absorbing some shock but in the event of severe trauma, say an impact with the wheel of your car, are capable of healing (along with a little surgery depending on the extent of injury). What I mean is, I can imagine the complications, both surgically and logistically (I'm thinking spare parts), that come along with this kind of transplant. But then again prosthetics are replaceable. I wonder how effective this airway is at facilitating the expulsion of phlegm?

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 06:30:31 UTC | #848113

silentbutler's Avatar Comment 11 by silentbutler

Comment 9 by dandelion fluff :

I read this before, and I still can't help wondering if it would be weird to have that glass inside you. I guess they used it because it is inert, right, but I'd be afraid of breaking it if I fell down or something. (Yeah, I suppose they took the physical factors into account, but with me it'd be a psychological hang-up.) Otherwise, totally cool, and I like to see progress made with autologous stem cell therapy because it eliminates the need for anti-rejection drugs.

Your concerns are correct, the rings that make up your upper airway, your trachea, are cartilaginous and not only capable of absorbing some shock but in the event of severe trauma, say an impact with the wheel of your car, are capable of healing (along with a little surgery depending on the extent of injury). What I mean is, I can imagine the complications, both surgically and logistically (I'm thinking spare parts), that come along with this kind of transplant. But then again prosthetics are replaceable. I wonder how effective this airway is at facilitating the expulsion of phlegm?

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 06:34:29 UTC | #848115

mmurray's Avatar Comment 12 by mmurray

Comment 9 by dandelion fluff :

I read this before, and I still can't help wondering if it would be weird to have that glass inside you. I guess they used it because it is inert, right, but I'd be afraid of breaking it if I fell down or something. (Yeah, I suppose they took the physical factors into account, but with me it'd be a psychological hang-up.)

Otherwise, totally cool, and I like to see progress made with autologous stem cell therapy because it eliminates the need for anti-rejection drugs.

I think that article is wrong or at least confused. What I saw on TV they had a glass trachea and were dipping it in some plastic stuff. They ended up with quite a flexible rubbery sort of thing. I suspect the glass was just a mold that wasn't put in the body. There is another article here that talks about using polymer

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/230685.php

Anyone got a better description of how they did this ?

Michael

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 07:29:21 UTC | #848122

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 13 by Alan4discussion

Comment 12 by mmurray - Anyone got a better description of how they did this ?

Here is a link to an article on organ regeneration which I submitted earlier for discussion but which has not appeared yet - http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/03/big-idea/organ-regeneration-text - It covers regrown ears, kidneys and bladders.

In the future people who need a body part may get their own back—regrown in the lab from their own cells. By Josie Glausiusz Photograph by Rebecca Hale, NGM Staff

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 08:56:57 UTC | #848131

SomersetJohn's Avatar Comment 14 by SomersetJohn

This is particularly good news for me. I have Peripheral Vascular Disease, which in my case has led to a complete blockage of the femoral artery and can in many cases lead to amputation. According to the news report this technique can be used to manufacture new arterial tubing on a near industrial scale, and hopefully will be of benefit to anyone who needs a bypass type operation.

The only question is when will it be generally available.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 10:41:53 UTC | #848147

Hellboy2's Avatar Comment 15 by Hellboy2

You know, the urge inherrent in most of humanity to survive and help others to survive, through science and all its incredible technology, never ceases to amaze me.

Such a seemingly simple organ - a pipe to breathe through - is also such a complex thing to reproduce without rejection and difficulties. And now the breakthrough. Wonderful.

And yet, reading of this medical marvel on the BBC newsite I also came across the pitiful, yet sadly familiar scenes, of men, women and children in Somalia, dying for want of one of the most basic and abundant commodities on the planet - water.

How far we've come and yet how much further we have still to go.......

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 12:56:29 UTC | #848177

Alexandreina's Avatar Comment 16 by Alexandreina

My understanding, perhaps flawed, was that the glass was used as a mold for the solution of stem cells it was soaked in. The glass itself would have been removed once the organ was complete, certainly not implanted in the patient.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 12:58:03 UTC | #848178

Agrajag's Avatar Comment 17 by Agrajag

An ideal "scaffold" would support the stem cells as they differentiated into the desired tissue(s). This is my understanding based on research going on (maybe in the past...) at my dental school (UIC Center for Wound Healing and Tissue Regeneration). I'm not intimately familiar with this research, but there have been efforts to create replacement temporomandibular joints and teeth. Several of my post-doctoral students have revascularized teeth that have lost their pulps; however, this form of tissue regeneration is still in its very early stages using a blood clot as the "scaffold". FWIW, I would decribe this tracheal replacement as an "implant", not a "transplant".


Comment 1 by Nick LaRue

To steal a quote from RD and modifying it a bit, "Science gives you the ability to replace organs, religion...." you know the rest. :)

Er... "religion flies your organs into buildings"? ^_^
Steve

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 13:34:24 UTC | #848182

Vicktor's Avatar Comment 18 by Vicktor

There isn't much these days that medical science can claim in the way of genuine "breakthroughs" that the general public can actually immediately benefit from, but I think this is an example of one such thing that comes pretty close. The quick, affordable, widely-available and long-lasting replacement of human kidneys, for instance, might be a genuine example of such a breakthrough. Hell, it's probably worth a fucking Nobel prize.

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 14:28:01 UTC | #848204

Daman345's Avatar Comment 19 by Daman345

To steal a quote from RD and modifying it a bit, "Science gives you the ability to replace organs, religion...." you know the rest. :)

Er... "religion flies your organs into buildings"? ^_^ Steve

Religion cut out your organs and gives them to the Sun God, Science cuts out your organs and gives you new improved ones

Sun, 10 Jul 2011 15:09:03 UTC | #848215

Vorlund's Avatar Comment 20 by Vorlund

Amazing doesn't do it justice.

We have come a long way from surgery without anaesthetic never mind a couple of Hirudo medicinalis down the cod piece or disease from demonsic posession.

Just imagine what we could have achieved in ethics, law, philosophy, pedagogy and the effect on other sciences if we had revised our earliest bronze age ideas on reality at the same rate.

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 07:50:17 UTC | #848499

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Mon, 11 Jul 2011 15:09:46 UTC | #848618

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 24 by Alan4discussion

Comment 12 by mmurray

What I saw on TV they had a glass trachea and were dipping it in some plastic stuff. They ended up with quite a flexible rubbery sort of thing. I suspect the glass was just a mold that wasn't put in the body.

Here are some quotes from the link I posted @13

Researchers take healthy cells from a patient's diseased bladder, cause them to multiply profusely in petri dishes, then apply them to a balloon-shaped scaffold made partly of collagen, the protein found in cartilage. Muscle cells go on the outside, urothelial cells (which line the urinary tract) on the inside. "It's like baking a layer cake," says Atala. "You're layering the cells one layer at a time, spreading these toppings." The bladder-to-be is then incubated at body temperature until the cells form functioning tissue. The whole process takes six to eight weeks.

Solid organs with lots of blood vessels, such as kidneys or livers, are harder to grow than hollow ones like bladders. But Atala's group—which is working on 22 organs and tissues, including ears—recently made a functioning piece of human liver. One tool they use is similar to an ink-jet printer; it "prints" different types of cells and the organ scaffold one layer at a time.

Mon, 11 Jul 2011 20:48:09 UTC | #848739

Bipedal Primate's Avatar Comment 25 by Bipedal Primate

comment 8 by weavehole

Well said.

Tue, 12 Jul 2011 01:25:34 UTC | #848815