A 30-year-old woman whose windpipe had been damaged by tuberculosis successfully received a tissue-engineered left main bronchus from a research team comprised of scientists from Italy, Spain, and the U.K. The woman had been suffering from dysphonia and cough (end-stage bronchomalacia) since 2004 as a result of TB “infiltration of the cervical trachea and entire left main bronchus,” reports the study in today’s online edition of The Lancet.
The scientists seeded epithelial and mesenchymal stem-cell-derived chondrocytes from the woman onto a human donor trachea scaffold, which they subsequentely transferred into the woman. They note that the woman, at four months post-op, now has a functional airway and does not need immunosuppressive drugs. The research team adds that they also can find no evidence of antidonor antibodies.