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A man who developed cancer in his windpipe has gotten a new trachea, grown entirely from his own stem cells over two days in a laboratory in Sweden. The operation is remarkable because it’s the first time a completely synthetically grown organ has been transplanted into a patient, The Guardian reported. “The synthetic trachea was created by growing the patient’s own stem cells on an artificial ‘scaffold’, which British scientists helped design. Windpipes have been grown from stem cells before, but only using the collagen ‘skeletons’ of donated tracheas … Professor Paolo Macchiarini, an Italian expert in regenerative medicine who led the groundbreaking operation, designed the Y-shaped synthetic trachea scaffold with Professor Alexander Seifalian, from University College London.” The success of the operation means that patients who need organ transplants could conceivably be able to have them specially grown instead of having to wait for a donor.

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