• tissue engineering;
  • stem cell;
  • trachea


This review summarizes efforts to generate an autologous tissue-engineered trachea (TET) using various biomaterial or cell sources to make tracheal cartilage to form the structural components of a functional tracheal replacement. Biomechanical assessments of the TET showed that the cartilage stiffness was excellent in the nude models; however, the sheep autologous TET did not provide sufficient support and collapsed easily. As a result, tissue engineering technology is still far from allowing the functional recovery of patients who suffer from severe tracheal disease. On the other hand, there are several clinical reports seeding cells to decellularized tissue using tissue engineering techniques. However, the working mechanisms of the tissue-engineered trachea remain unclear. Nevertheless, we believe that the field of tissue engineering has great potential for surmounting these obstacles and allowing us to generate functional tracheal replacements in the near future. Anat Rec, 297:44–50. 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.