Dr. Paolo Macchiarini
Dr. Anthony Atala and his colleagues are changing the the scepticism that has consistently been a challenging factor in furthering the advancement of Regenerative Medicine via Stem Cell Research…
Building a complex human organ in the lab is no longer a dream of science fiction. At London’sRoyal Free Hospital, a team of 30 scientists is manufacturing a variety of body parts, including windpipes, noses and ears. WSJ’s Gautam Naik reports. Photo: Gareth Phillips
MADRID—Reaching into a stainless steel tray, Francisco Fernandez-Aviles lifted up a gray, rubbery mass the size of a fat fist.
It was a human cadaver heart that had been bathed in industrial detergents until its original cells had been washed away and all that was left was what scientists call the scaffold.
Next, said Dr. Aviles, “We need to make the heart come alive.”
Inside a warren of rooms buried in the basement of Gregorio Marañón hospital here, Dr. Aviles and his team are at the sharpest edge of the bioengineering…
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Thank you Dr Paolo Macchiarini, Dr Mark Holterman and all of your colleagues for your dedication to giving Hannah Warren a better quality of life. Being involved with an amazing procedure like this, one deserves to be proud:)
This video is temporary shelved for reasons of misrepresentation on behalf of the DP.
via Supercells Film.
By Nuala Moran
BOSTON – Regenerative medicine pioneer Paolo Macchiarini is now taking the field to its ultimate heights – and into the realms of science fiction – embarking on a brain regeneration project.
“You’ll think I’m crazy,” he told delegates at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting Monday. But there undoubtedly is great unmet medical need, and based on his experience to date in transplanting stem cell-infused donor and bioengineered trachea, Macchiarini said he believes there is a way to replace neurological function lost to road accidents, gunshot wounds and surgery.
Although ambitious, Macchiarini’s plan owes less to science fiction than would appear at first glance. His idea is to produce a gel infused with nanofibers and seeded with neuroprotective proteins that would be used to fill the gap left by missing tissue. “It would be a 3D gel that adapts to the defect you find, and includes relevant proteins. It does not regenerate into brain [tissue] but attracts endogenous stem cells and is bridged and filled with connections from healthy tissue,” he told delegates. The technique has been tested in rats and mice, with positive results.
Macchiarini described how the lessons learned from transplanting donor trachea that were stripped of donor cells and MHC antigens, and then colonized by epithelial cells and mesenchymal stem cell-derived chondrocytes cultured from cells taken from the recipients have paved the way to the brain regeneration project. The trachea transplants also are informing other programs in acute lung disease, esophagus replacement and the development of a miniature ambulatory bioartificial lung for use by chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients.
Among positives from the donor trachea transplants are the findings that unlike other allogeneic transplants there is no need for immune suppression, the seeded cells differentiate in situ forming epithelium, and after five years of follow-up, there is no incidence of teratoma, indicating long-term safety. However, the donated scaffolds biodegrade over time, leading the transplanted trachea to became floppy, and there is a problem with restenosis that can occur between the implant and the recipient’s own tissue, occluding the trachea.
Macchiarini himself is a surgeon, but he has the backing of a multidisciplinary group at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden. To investigate the surgical problems, he consulted bench scientists. “That’s the beauty of regenerative medicine: You can go back to the lab,” Macchiarini said.
Based on the laboratory analyses, Macchiarini and his group are working to reduce the biodegradation process. However, he also decided to test artificial scaffolds and in June 2011 carried out the first transplant of an artificial trachea seeded with the recipient’s stem cells. To date, five procedures have been conducted using the technique. Although that gets around the problem of biodegradation, the junction between the natural tissue and the transplant remains a focus for restenosis, and Macchiarini now is looking for more suitable materials from which to fashion trachea.
Data from animal models of artificial trachea implants indicate that three weeks after transplant the seeded cells remain in situ. “This is very important because it allows for a homing effect, and other cells are attracted here to boost regeneration,” Macchiarini said.
The evidence that implanted stem cells boost endogenous repair mechanisms has led Macchiarini into cell therapy. He has demonstrated immediate functional improvements in two patients with acute refractory lung failure (though both died of multi-organ failure) and one patient with an ischemic larynx.
Those examples are turning the established dogma of cell therapy – of isolating, expanding and injecting specialized cells – on its head. “The time has come to start real clinical trials, to provide definitive evidence. Then stem cell therapy would be used not as a last resort, but sooner.”
Macchiarini also is switching his attention to the esophagus, an organ that is more complex to transplant than the trachea because it includes muscle. However, once again, Macchiarini said he was driven to take the next step by new laboratory research, with evidence of muscle cells growing on artificial esophagi in bioreactors three days after seeding with mesenchymal stem cells.
For the miniature ambulatory bioartificial lung, the plan is to seed polymers that are capable of basic gas exchange with lung cells. Macchiarini has European Union funding for the project and said it will be in the clinic in two years.
Macchiarini did not say what his future ambitions are for the brain regeneration project, but he concluded, “If you want to do the same as nature you will fail all the time; you need to compromise. So a bioartificial matrix and a human cell matrix is the right approach.”
Milan, February 18 (Reuters) – In 2011, he entered the history of medicine in Sweden transplanting the first entirely artificial organ, a trachea bioingegnerizzata built in the laboratory and then coated with stem cells taken from the patient, in this way, there would need anti-rejection drugs. Now the Tuscan Paolo Macchiarini, professor of regenerative surgery at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, will use the same technique to ‘play’ more complex tissues and organs: diaphragm from the esophagus to the heart and lungs. And in rats and mice has already tried to regenerate even the brain.
The doctor announced its upcoming projects in Boston, during the annual meeting of the AAAS, the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The first event in the U.S. in March, when Macchiarini will operate for the first time in the world a child of two years was born without trachea from birth and forced to live in an intensive care unit, where he breathes through a tube inserted into the esophagus and connected directly to the lungs.
Macchiarini has been dubbed the ‘wizard trachea transplant’ when, in 2008 in Barcelona, he experienced for the first time his innovative technique based on the use of stem cells taken from the patient to cover the transplanted organ. Retrieved in Tuscany by Governor Henry Smith, then Regional Minister for Health, the surgeon returns several times protagonist of the national news. First in 2010 for a ‘failure’ chair as professor at the University of Florence – each with the result that ’emigrated’ to Karolinska, while continuing to operate Careggi Hospital – and again in September 2012, when out of a room operating the hospital in Florence, was placed under house arrest as part of an investigation by the Guardia di Finanza of Florence. Accused of attempted aggravated fraud and attempted extortion, Macchiarini resigned from Careggi and were revoked arrest. In Sweden, the Nobel Institute confirmed its confidence in the surgeon and his research projects.
“For every operation we learn something – says Macchiarini, whose technique in the latest version has been used to date for 5 trips – This means that we can develop and refine the method. We are also considering how to transfer our experience in other areas, such as neurology.’s goal is to maximize the potential for self-healing of the human body. ”
In addition to the intervention program in the next month in the United States on the child without trachea, the ‘superchirurgo’ announced at the AAAS meeting in Boston other futuristic projects. First is planning to perform a transplant esophagus bioartificial organ with muscles and therefore more complex than the trachea. In addition, experimental studies on rodents, Macchiarini and his research team have been investigating the possibility of replacing the brain tissue damaged by severe trauma such as car accidents, gun shots or surgery. The idea is to replace the injured tissue with a substance obtained using stem cells, thus preventing the neurological damage. So far the tests have been performed in rats and mice, and have produced positive results, provides the expert.
The last frontier, finally, get to recreate ‘test-tube’ vital organs such as the heart and lungs. On two occasions, for example, patients with severe refractory acute pulmonary insufficiency who received stem cell therapy, showing an immediate functional improvement. Although both eventually have died from the consequences of a failure multiorgan, the result obtained by cell treatment has produced according to Macchiarini the first evidence that the use of stem cells may represent a promising alternative to restore function of damaged organs. For a future of transplants without the need for donors.