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Cell culture startup’s scaffold used in 2nd-ever synthetic trachea transplant

A two-year-old Ohio State University spinoff’s nanofiber scaffold was used to grow a patient’s own stem cells and then implanted into the patient after his trachea was removed — in an operation that’s being billed as the world’s second successful synthetic trachea transplant.

Columbus-based Nanofiber Solutions designed and built the scaffold used in the procedure. The company’s cell culture products use polymer nanofibers to more accurately simulate the 3-D structure of human tissue.

The synthetic trachea was grown on the scaffold in a bioreactor for two days before being transplanted into the patient, according to a statement from Harvard Bioscience, which made the bioreactor.

The surgery was performed in Stockholm, Sweden. While the operation was the second successful trachea transplant, it is the first procedure on a U.S. patient and with a U.S.-made scaffold, according to the statement.

Nanofiber Solutions was born from an entry in a business plan competition written by co-founder and then-doctoral student Jed Johnson, who was studying materials science engineering. After winning the contest and $90,000 in cash and in-kind services, Johnson teamed up with an Ohio State materials science engineering professor to begin the company.

Here’s a news report on the first trachea transplant surgery.

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