Synthetic trachea made possible by nanocomposite

Hybrid Plastics' POSS nanotechnology materials system helps make a synthetic trachea indistinguishable from a normal, healthy one.

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Hybrid Plastics (Hattiesburg, Miss., USA) has announced the fabrication of a synthetic trachea, inserted in a human subject. The trachea uses nanocomposites enabled in part by Hybrid Plastic's POSS (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane) nanotechnology system.

Seeded with the patient’s own stem cells, the inert POSS polymer windpipe scaffold became an organ indistinguishable from a normal healthy one. The patient’s body accepted the POSS polymer trachea with no infection or inflammation, and without the need for strong anti-rejection drugs. POSS acted as the enabling agent allowing the stem cells to bond to the compound.

The composite made from POSS and PCU (polyhedral oligomeric silsesquioxane and poly (carbonateurea) urethane) was developed by Dr. Alex Seifalian of the University College London Medical School. The effort has been so effective that Dr. Seifalian says he now has six more tracheas on order.

The importance of the new technique is that there's no need for a donor. Moreover the composite scaffold can be transformed into a human artery, vein, heart valve, tear duct or trachea.

POSS is a new nanotechnology based on silicon-derived building blocks that provide nanometerscale control to dramatically improve the properties of traditional polymers. They release no VOCs and, thereby, produce no odor or air pollution. They are biocompatible and recyclable.