Sweden trial begins in stem-cell windpipe transplants case

An Italian surgeon who made headlines in 2011 for finishing up the world’s first stem-cell windpipe transplants at Sweden‘s main hospital went on trial Wednesday accused of aggravated assault in opposition to three of his sufferers.

Stem-cell scientist Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, who was as soon as thought of a number one determine in regenerative drugs, is credited with creating the world’s first windpipe partially produced from a affected person’s personal stem cells.

In December 2018, Sweden determined to reopen a beforehand discontinued investigation into three circumstances. Additional written proof was obtained, and extra interviews have been held with people in Sweden, Belgium, Britain, the United States and Spain.

The former surgeon appeared on the Solna District Court Wednesday however is first anticipated to be a witness Friday. His protection lawyer, Björn Hurtig, believes Macchiarini’s former employer, Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute, needs to be held accountable, Swedish broadcaster SVT mentioned.

Macchiarini was fired from Karolinska Institute in March 2016 for breaching medical ethics after being accused of falsifying his resume and misrepresenting his work.

When Macchiarini’s first windpipe transplant was reported within the medical journal Lancet in 2008, it was hailed as a breakthrough in regenerative drugs. Macchiarini’s new airway — partly made utilizing stem cells from the affected person — was thought to herald a brand new period the place new organs might be made within the laboratory.

Despite an impartial fee in Sweden that discovered quite a few issues in Macchiarini’s work, the Lancet has to this point declined to retract the examine.

Macchiarini earlier had disputed the accusations, saying they have been false.

He operated on 20 sufferers Macchiarini to supply them with a synthetic windpipe — from nations together with Spain, Russian, Iceland, Britain and the U.S. Critics say Macchiarini skirted medical ethics to hold out harmful procedures with no confirmed profit and that he fabricated descriptions of his sufferers’ situations.

In 2019, an Italian court docket sentenced Macchiarini to 16 months in jail for forging paperwork and abuse of workplace.

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