Posted on Aug 06, 2018, 6 p.m.
Bioengineered human lungs have successfully be transplanted into pigs without any complications arising, as published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Joaquin Cortiella and Joan Nichols from the University of Texas first bioengineered human lungs in 2014, now that work has been used and progressed to point of being transplanting into pigs; with the ultimate goal of eventually being able to provide options for humans awaiting transplant.
Support scaffold meeting lung’s structural needs was created using lungs from unrelated animals, all cells and blood were removed from the lung leaving only the lung shaped scaffold of lung proteins. One lung was removed from each of the animals and cells were taken from organs to produce tissue matched bioengineered tissues and grown. After 30 days the lungs were transplanted into the animals to observe how the lung tissues would develop and integrate with the body. All of the animals were observed to stay healthy, and two weeks after transplant the bioengineered lungs developed robust vasculature networks needed for the lung to survive.
No signs of pulmonary edema were found which would be indicator of network blood vessel not maturing enough. With sufficient funding transplantable lung for human use could be grown within 5-10 years. It has taken 15 years on a small budget to get to this point with a dedicated group of people explains Cortiella and Nichols.
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