We caught up with Paolo Macchiarini to find out more about the international collaboration responsible for creating and implanting the world's first artificial trachea in June 2011. Paolo Macchiarini, Professor at the Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet (Stockholm, Sweden), has dedicated his career to improving the outcomes of tracheal transplant patients. He became well known in the regenerative medicine field in 2008 when he performed the first adult stem cell-grown trachea transplant and has since carried out several transplants using decellularized deceased donor trachea reseeded with the patient's own cells. In June 2011, Macchiarini led an international team to successfully implant an artificial trachea, seeded with autologous stem cells, in a human patient, a world first. The patient, a 36-year-old man with late-stage tracheal cancer, has since made a good recovery.