Surgeons have performed the first transplant operation using an organ wholly grown in a laboratory to give a man a new windpipe.
The 36-year-old is recovering after surgeons implanted the world’s first wholly lab-grown organ into his body.
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.
The landmark operation at Karolinska University hospital in Sweden could mean patients may not have to wait for a suitable donor organ. This could be particularly significant for children, for whom donor tracheas are much more difficult to find.