Artificial trachea pioneer cleared in first of two misconduct cases

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country A thoracic surgeon who attracted widespread attention for transplanting artificial tracheae into patients—and then faced scientific misconduct charges—has been found not guilty in the first of two investigations into his work. The decision, announced today, was made on 7 April by the Karolinska Institute’s vice-chancellor, Anders Hamsten, on the basis of an internal investigation by the institute’s ethics council. The council concluded that the issues raised are of a “philosophy-of-science kind rather than of a research-ethical kind.”“We all felt terrible [about the investigation] because it affected our credibility, the credibility of my team,” says the accused, Paolo Macchiarini, a visiting professor at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “We are now happy that everything has been cleared.” Pierre Delaere, a head and neck surgeon at UZ Leuven in Belgium who brought the case against Macchiarini, says he is “stunned about such outright injustice.”Macchiarini produced artificial windpipes by taking a polymer scaffold and “seeding” it with stem cells from the recipient, which he claimed colonized the scaffold and eventually grew into a living organ. Delaere argues that Macchiarini’s claims of success were exaggerated and that he misrepresented his results in several papers in The Lancet. Delaere first e-mailed Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson, then-president of the Karolinska Institute, about his concerns in 2011; he made a formal complaint to the institute in June 2014, which led to the current investigation. In its report, the council rejected all the issues Delaere had raised.center_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Delaere charged that Macchiarini’s claim to regenerate tracheae from patients’ stem cells was impossible, but the council concluded instead that it was a “miscommunication” about the meaning of the word regenerative. Delaere also charged that Macchiarini’s claim that blood vessels had regrown around the tracheae was impossible, but the council decided that “current evidence indicates that it is actually working.” The council found no evidence of fabricated data.The council noted that hype is a general problem, not particular to Macchiarini. Delaere’s response: “The whole stem cell story has to come down to Earth,” but the artificial trachea story “is an extreme form.” The council’s report, he adds, is “so wrong, it couldn’t be wronger.”Another ongoing investigation against Macchiarini was launched after four surgeons at the affiliated Karolinska University Hospital charged that he did not get properly informed consent from patients—a charge Macchiarini has denied. A representative for the Karolinska Institute says the timing for this case is uncertain, as the vice-chancellor is waiting for a report from an outside expert.Macchiarini says his team has paused its transplantations of tracheae, while they evaluate a new biomaterial. Splitting his time between the Karolinska Institute and Kuban State Medical University in Krasnodar, Russia, Macchiarini says he is now also engineering tissues of the lung, heart, and other thoracic organs for transplantation. The team also works on cell therapy to assist local regeneration of tissues, such as restoring lung function in newborns and adults.*Correction, 20 April, 2:40 p.m.: A previous version of this story said that Macchiarini’s team no longer works on tracheae. They have only paused the transplant operations.last_img

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Artificial trachea pioneer cleared in first of two misconduct cases