Physician and clinical researcher Dr Hind Khamis al Balushi, head of Stem Cells Engineering and Cellular Therapies Department at the Royal Hospital, has developed a technique to cultivate stem cells for rebuilding non-cellular textures and analysis of their curative abilities. She used tracheal tissue engineering technique on a child who had damaged her trachea.
Dr Hind, a specialist in management, engineering and manufacturing stem cells and medical cellular treatment, made the medical breakthrough when working on a dissertation for a PhD in stem cell engineering at University College London.
The research enabled Dr Hind to join a renowned medical team based in Royal Free Hospital and University of London that was conducting a rare operation to rescue and treat a child in critical condition. The child had swallowed an electric battery that damaged her trachea.
Tracheal tissue engineering is a potential solution for long tracheal lesions and recent clinical experiences have yielded promising results.
The medical team received a licence from the Medicine and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, UK, to use the new technique to treat the child. The operation was conducted at the Cellular and Genetic Treatment Centre at Royal Free Hospital. The child recuperated and is currently enjoying good health after the operation.
A detailed account of the operation will be published in the Nature Medicine journal. The new technology is being used to start clinical experiments at Barouth Hospital London, Cambridge University, University of London and a specialised drug firm.