Synthetic tracheas, developed, designed and “grown” by Columbus-based
, were recently successfully transplanted into two patients in Russia.
Nanofiber Solutions does research to advance tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. “We develop three-dimensional manmade scaffolds to create synthetic human organs,” explains Jed Johnson, Ph.D., chief technology officer.
Both patients suffered from a narrowing of their laryngotracheal junctions due to auto accidents. “We seeded the scaffolds with bone marrow from each of the patients,” Dr. Johnson explained. “The resulting synthetic tracheas matched the dimensions of each patient’s natural larynx and trachea.”
According to Dr. Johnson, the highly experimental procedure was conducted by an international team of surgeons. Both patients were able to speak and breathe normally immediately after the surgery, he noted, and since the cells used were from each patient, there has been no rejection problem.
“We use very fine synthetic polymer fibers that are 500 nanometers in diameter for our scaffolds,” Dr. Johnson explains ”That’s 100 times smaller than a human hair. So far, we have designed and developed scaffolds for tracheas, blood vessels, intestines and skin.”
Additional trachea transplant surgeries are scheduled in both Sweden and the United States within the next few months.
The Ohio Third Frontier Commission recently awarded Case Western Reserve University’s National Center for Regenerative Medicine $2.4 million to support its process and manufacturing platform for cell therapy. Nanofiber Solutions is among eight collaborators working with Case Western Reserve University on this project.
Source: Jed Johnson
Writer: Lynne Meyer