In something that sounds completely stunning, researchers from the University of Wisconsin Medical School have published a preliminary study in the journal Science Translational Medicine, where they have successfully created 170 sets of vocal cords in a lab.
The created vocal cords don't require the normal set of immunosuppressants that normal transplants require, with study senior author Nathan Welham telling Buzzfeed: "We never imagined that we would see the impressive level of function that we did". The researchers started off with collecting cellular samples from four volunteers and one cadaver, then grew them on collagen scaffolds.
It took just two weeks for the sample cells to grow into functional vocal cords, and once they did, the researchers began testing the bioengineered larynxes by grafting them onto the kidneys of lab mice to prove the grown vocal cords wouldn't be rejected by their new hosts. These initial tests were completely successful, with the next step for the researchers is to hold longer immune response trials in mice before moving onto larger animals in the near future.