It was recently reported that doctors at the University of Wisconsin at Madison have grown the first human vocal cords from scratch. Researchers hope that this breakthrough will enable people with speech problems relating to dysfunctional vocal cords the ability to vocally speak their minds.
Historically it has been very difficult to grow this kind of tissue because it is so biologically unique. Another complication is that the chances of the body rejecting this kind of tissue are ver high. To complete this experiment scientists at UW Madison used donated vocal fold cells. They were able to grow 170 vocal folds over two weeks. These folds were then tested on larynxes (throats) from dogs. They found that these vocal folds were capable of producing sounds similar to that of normal human vocal cords. Initial testing has yielded positive results. The folds were successfully implanted into mice with human immune systems.
“No other tissue in the human body is subject to these biomechanical demands” – Nathan Welham, UW Madison School of Public Health
What do you think about this huge break through? Do you think this will have a big impact in the near future? Let us know!