News & Media

February 28, 2012
Conference on “Natural and Artificial Scaffolds for Tracheobronchial Tissue Engineered Replacements”

On February 28, 2012, The Higher Centre of Research (HCR) at The Holy Spirit University of Kaslik (USEK) hosted Prof. Paolo Macchiarini from the Institute of Karolinska in Stockholm, who gave a conference entitled “Natural and Artificial Scaffolds for Tracheobronchial Tissue Engineered Replacements”. This event, organized by the HCR in collaboration with the Faculty of Medicine and Medical Sciences at USEK and Notre Dame de Secours University Hospital in Jbeil, was attended by a crowd of eminent members of the medical field and numerous students.

Having specialized in thoracic surgery, Prof. Macchiarini is a pioneer in regenerative surgery and tissue engineering.

In his presentation on cellular therapy and tissue regeneration, he described the phases of the first stem cell grown synthetic trachea, transplanted into a man with late-stage tracheal cancer. This surgery, the first of its kind in the world, has been the result of international collaboration between scientists and physicians.

The artificial trachea, designed and made from nanocomposite materials, is seeded with stem cells taken from the patient and placed in a bioreactor. This twofold chirurgical and technological competence paves the way to organ fabrication, so it will no longer be necessary to wait for a compatible donor. Moreover, this technique has the inestimable advantage of excluding the risk of rejection and avoidance of immunosuppressive drugs.

Prof. Macchiarini revealed that the next progress in this field will consist in extending this technique to children and in further improving the approaches of the trachea regenerative medicine, by extending it to the lungs, heart and oesophagus. He also stated that the same technique of regenerative medicine will be used in the future, for the restoration of cells damaged due to aging or diseases.

The conference which lasted for 45 minutes was followed by a debate.
Holy Spirit University of Kaslik
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