Artificial Trachea, by Chris Carr

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Figure 1. Diagram of a trachea [A]
Figure 1. Diagram of a trachea [A]

The trachea, also known as the windpipe, is the passage way that leads air to your lungs. It is made up of cartilage, muscle and connective tissue. Tracheas are often around 4 inches long which are comprised of approximately 20 cartilage rings. On the inside lining of the trachea is a mucus membrane that is able to catch harmful airborne particles and bacteria before it reaches your lungs. Swallowing and sneezing are ways of removing these particles [4C].

Breathing involves two main steps; oxygen enters the body when you breathe in and carbon dioxide leaves the body when you exhale. When someone takes a breath, oxygen goes through the nose and mouth down their trachea. From here the trachea splits up into two bronchi tubes which lead to the left and right lung. Next the oxygen travels through the smaller branches, bronchioles, to millions of small alveoli located throughout the lungs. Alveoli are small sacs in the lungs that allow for the exchange of gases with the blood stream. Here oxygen is exchanged with carbon dioxide. The red blood cells deliver the oxygen to the rest of the body while the carbon dioxide is expelled out the same way the oxygen came in. Too avoid food and drink from entering the lungs, a flap known as the epiglottis, closes while swallowing in order to prevent them from entering the trachea and lungs [5c].

[AC] [4C] [5C]


1981 - Start of skin tissue engineering of epithelial cells [2]

2008 - First artificial trachea implanted with patient's stem cells [1]





Health Issues

Trachea Cancer, etc.

Current Technology



Artificial Trachea

PET material

Procedure and Side Effects



Personal tools