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Eur Respir J. 2018 Jul 27;52(1). pii: 1601355. doi: 10.1183/13993003.01355-2016. Print 2018 Jul.

How to build a lung: latest advances and emerging themes in lung bioengineering.

Author information

Lung Bioengineering and Regeneration, Dept of Experimental Medical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Lung Repair and Regeneration (LRR), Comprehensive Pneumology Center (CPC), Helmholtz Zentrum Munich, Member of the German Center for Lung Research (DZL), Munich, Germany.
Stem Cell Centre, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Wallenberg Center for Molecular Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
Dept of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Heart and Lung Transplantation, Lund University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.
Lung Bioengineering and Regeneration, Dept of Experimental Medical Sciences, Lund University, Lund, Sweden


Chronic respiratory diseases remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The only option at end-stage disease is lung transplantation, but there are not enough donor lungs to meet clinical demand. Alternative options to increase tissue availability for lung transplantation are urgently required to close the gap on this unmet clinical need. A growing number of tissue engineering approaches are exploring the potential to generate lung tissue ex vivo for transplantation. Both biologically derived and manufactured scaffolds seeded with cells and grown ex vivo have been explored in pre-clinical studies, with the eventual goal of generating functional pulmonary tissue for transplantation. Recently, there have been significant efforts to scale-up cell culture methods to generate adequate cell numbers for human-scale bioengineering approaches. Concomitantly, there have been exciting efforts in designing bioreactors that allow for appropriate cell seeding and development of functional lung tissue over time. This review aims to present the current state-of-the-art progress for each of these areas and to discuss promising new ideas within the field of lung bioengineering.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest: D.E. Wagner reports grants from Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation and German Lung Center, during the conduct of the study; and in addition has a patent (WO2014169111 A1) pending.

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