Korean researchers have been experimenting further in the bioprinting of tracheal implants, publishing recent results in ‘Trachea with Autologous Epithelial Cells and Chondrocytes.’ The team of scientists details their use of polycaprolactone and hydrogel mixed with nasal epithelial and auricular cartilage cells.
After bioprinting an artificial trachea with these materials and tissue, they transplanted them into 15 rabbits, six of which were a control group. The goal was to find a way to overcome tracheal problems due to tumors, the most common of which are adenoid cystic carcinomas and squamous cell carcinomas. Previously there have been substantial challenges in creating viable tracheas that are anatomically correct and can produce a ciliated epithelium. Issues have arisen with infection, implants that become dislodged, have migrated, or experienced obstruction.