Stem cells research has been attributed to some quite amazing patient recoveries from terminal diagnose's  over the past few years, one such recent event is the woman who received a donor windpipe seeded with her own stem cells. The procedure took place 5 years ago and today the patient is fit and healthy, with no adverse reaction to the donor windpipe, hailing yet another success in stem cell research and tissue engineering.

This particular type of transplant usually has a number of complications ranging from rejection of the donor windpipe by the patients immune system, necrosis and bleeding, but having the stem cells from her own body prevented her immune system from attacking the transplant windpipe.

This amazing result begins to answer some of the questions around the potential of tissue engineered transplants, and the amazing effect they can have on a persons life. The surgeon behind this procedure is Dr Paolo Macchiarini, a Stockholm based surgeon.

The procedure isn't without it's own complications, but these through a course of further treatment are being managed without any detrimental effect to the patients day to day life. For instance there has been some scarring at the graft area which led to difficulty in breathing, but with a series of scaffolds in the trachea, surgeons have managed to open up the airways and remedy the problem.

Where next for stem cell science? In 2011 a patient received a totally artificial windpipe seeded from his own stem cells.