Stem cell-based tissue-engineered laryngeal replacement

Tahera Ansari, Peggy Lange, Aaron Southgate, Karin Greco, Carla Carvalho, Leanne Partington, Anthony Bullock, Sheila Macneil, Mark W. Lowdell, Paul D. Sibbons, Martin A. Birchall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Patients with laryngeal disorders may have severe morbidity relating to swallowing, vocalization, and respiratory function, for which conventional therapies are suboptimal. A tissue-engineered approach would aim to restore the vocal folds and maintain respiratory function while limiting the extent of scarring in the regenerated tissue. Under Good Laboratory Practice conditions, we decellularized porcine larynges, using detergents and enzymes under negative pressure to produce an acellular scaffold comprising cartilage, muscle, and mucosa. To assess safety and functionality before clinical trials, a decellularized hemilarynx seeded with human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells and a tissue-engineered oral mucosal sheet was implanted orthotopically into six pigs. The seeded grafts were left in situ for 6 months and assessed using computed tomography imaging, bronchoscopy, and mucosal brushings, together with vocal recording and histological analysis on explantation. The graft caused no adverse respiratory function, nor did it impact swallowing or vocalization. Rudimentary vocal folds covered by contiguous epithelium were easily identifiable. In conclusion, the proposed tissue-engineered approach represents a viable alternative treatment for laryngeal defects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)677-687
Number of pages11
JournalStem cells translational medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Human stem cell
  • Larynx
  • Tissue engineering
  • Tissue scaffold

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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