Trachea/Larynx Regeneration

Current clinical treatment of benign and malignant tracheal disorders involves surgical resection and end-to-end anastomosis when the length of the diseased segment is less than half the tracheal length in adults or one-third the tracheal length in children. Conventional allo-transplantation of a donor tracheal segment is technically feasible but requires lifelong immunosuppression and results in allograft necrosis, infection, and eventual death due to improper revascularization and continual contact with the external environment. The use of autologous allografts and artificial prostheses has also been met with limited success. This project investigates the use of a pressure-decellularization approach to the trachea, and we have successfully achieved decellularization of human and porcine tracheas. This project is currently moving forward to investigate the appropriate cells to repopulate these decellularized tracheal scaffolds, in the hopes of regenerating a viably functional trachea that can one day be successfully transplanted into a patient suffering from a tracheal disorder.