Windpipe defects result in decreased quality of life for the patient, making breathing, speaking, and swallowing difficult. Disorders of the trachea requiring intervention methods not adequately treated by slide tracheoplasty or cartilage augmentation necessitate the use of prosthetic material to expand the trachea. Furthermore, some donor site morbidity occurs with augmentation techniques and size or shape mismatches are not uncommon. Tissue engineering has the potential to create effective replacement trachea-like tissue for procedures like laryngotracheal reconstruction and may circumvent these problems.

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