Two new lab-grown versions of lungs may one day serve as a way to sidestep both animal testing and organ transplantation.
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Patrick J. Lynch
One engineered rat lung, described in Science Express today (June 24), even successfully helped rats breathe for brief periods. "This is the first ever published paper that really demonstrates that regenerative medicine can provide an alternative to clinical transplantation of the lungs," said translational medical researcher Paolo Macchiarini of linkurl:Karolinska Institutet; in Sweden, who was not involved in the research. Currently, the only treatment for the lung diseases that cause some 400,000 deaths each year is to transplant a new, healthy organ -- a procedure that is hampered by organ rejection complications and a severe shortage of donors. But now, bioengineer and vascular biologist linkurl:Laura Niklason; of Yale University and her colleagues may have developed a way to eventually address both of these...
ScienceT.H. Peterson, et al., "Tissue engineered lungs for in vivo implantation," Science Express, June 2010. D. Huh, et al., "Reconstituting organ-level lung functions on a chip," Science, 328:1662-8, 2010.

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