Nanotechnology made headline news this week with an inspiring, good news nanobio health story, as reported in the Wall Street Journal (on-line).
A medical team led by Dr. Paolo Macchiarini in Sweden was able to insert a lab made trachea in a patient suffering from throat cancer. Nanoengineered polymers were used. No cadavers were used. The materials were developed by Alexander Seifalian at University College of London. See, for example, Seifalian patent, US Patent No. 7,820,769.
According to the WSJ article: "The windpipe is a hollow tube, about 4.5 inches long, leading to the lungs. A key part of it is a scaffold—which functions like a skeleton for the organ—consisting of tissues such as cartilage and muscle. As a first step, a team led by Alexander Seifalian of University College London used plastic materials and nanotechnology to make an artificial version of the scaffold in the lab. It was closely modeled on the shape and size of the Eritrean man's windpipe."