Intended for healthcare professionals


Novel polymer used in first artificial windpipe shows promising future

BMJ 2011; 343 doi: (Published 11 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4419
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. 1London

The synthetic windpipe used by the Swedish team who carried out last month’s pioneering implant surgery on a patient with advanced tracheal cancer was made of a novel polymer designed and tested at University College London. The work has shown that an artificial trachea can simulate the properties of a natural one and paves the way for further uses of the polymer.

The man who created the implant, Alex Seifalian, professor of nanotechnology and regenerative medicine at University College London, describes the material of which it is made as a “nanocomposite.” It comprises a polymer containing tiny, nanometre size crystalline particles.

In the finished …

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