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Surgeons implant first synthetic organ
by Staff Writers
Stockholm, Sweden (UPI) Jul 7, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Surgeons in Sweden have performed the world's first transplant of a synthetic organ, an artificial windpipe coated in the patient's stem cells, officials said.

Surgeons at the Karolinska University Hospital said the 36-year-old cancer patient is doing well after the procedure, the BBC reported Thursday.

The pioneering surgery, which presents no risk of the organ being rejected, involves modeling a structure or scaffold that is an exact replica of the patient's own windpipe, removing the need for a donor organ.

Scientists at University College London used 3D scans of the patient's windpipe to craft a copy of the patient's trachea out of porous glass, which was then flown to Sweden and soaked in a solution of stem cells taken from the patient's bone marrow.

In a 12-hour operation, the patient's cancerous windpipe was removed and replaced with the custom-made replica.

The stem cells will be able to divide and grow, turning the inert windpipe scaffold into an organ indistinguishable from a normal healthy one, doctors said.

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