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Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Mar;12 Suppl 1:S45-9. doi: 10.1513/AnnalsATS.201408-366MG.

Using nature's platform to engineer bio-artificial lungs.

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1 Division of Thoracic Surgery, Department of Surgery, Massachusetts General Hospital;


Native lung extracellular matrix can be isolated from cadaveric organs via perfusion decellularization and provides a novel scaffold material for lung engineering. Based on this platform, several proof-of-principle studies have demonstrated the feasibility of whole organ recellularization and culture in rodent models and have helped us better understand the numerous challenges in up-scaling to clinically relevant tissues. Standardized protocols to generate whole lung scaffolds of porcine and human scale have been reported, but our understanding of the remaining extracellular matrix components and their properties is incomplete. Effective recellularization will require the isolation and in vitro expansion of clinically relevant cell sources, either from primary or stem cell-derived populations, and techniques to effectively deliver these populations throughout the lung scaffold. Ultimately, only tightly controlled recapitulation of tissue development and repair in vitro will enable us to mature lung grafts to function before implantation. Although substantial progress has been made, we are only beginning to grasp the complexity of this exciting new technology.


decellularization; lung bioengineering; regeneration

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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