August 11, 2022

Leading stem cell surgeon accused of ‘scientific misconduct’

Italian celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini created artificial windpipes with cadaver-derived scaffolding and stem cells

In happier days   

Italian celebrity surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, who created artificial windpipes with cadaver-derived scaffolding and stem cells, has been found guilty of scientific misconduct by an investigator from Sweden’s Karolinska Institute.

Dr Macchiarini’s operations were widely reported and seemed to bring almost miraculous relief to three patients. But the post-operative reality was different. Two of the patients have died, and the third has been hospitalized in intensive care for nearly three years.

The investigation was prompted by doctors caring for the patients who found that their condition was not nearly as good as Dr Macchiarini described in his publications. According to the investigator, the surgeon “omitted some data and also fabricated or falsified some data regarding the postoperative state of patients”.

The report is not yet available in English but should be released soon. Consult Retraction Watch for further developments. 

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