Voice box and tracheal transplants

• April 24, 2013 • Comments (0)

Dr. Martin Burchall at University College London seems to be one to watch in the field of voice.  He performed the world’s second documented laryngeal and tracheal transplant.  His work using stem cell based transplants shows early promise, although he says it is still “at the edge of science.”  (The thyroplasty which restored my voice was considered quite innovative 10 years ago, and now it is the standard of care for many unilateral vocal cord paralyses).

The approach he is taking also makes sense to me.  He takes a donor trachea or larynx, strips it of it cells down to the bare bone or cartilage framework, then lines that framework with the recipient’s own cells in order to prevent rejection.  This seems to be a promising development for patients with devastating problems (laryngeal or “voice box” patients often can’t talk, and tracheal patients often can’t breathe).

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Category: Voice problem

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