Scientists Created Lab-Grown Lungs And Transplanted Them Into Pigs

Scientists Created Lab-Grown Lungs And Transplanted Them Into Pigs

A team of scientists made artificial lungs and then transplanted them into pigs (not this one).

According to the study, all bioengineered lung recipients were healthy after receiving the transplants.

As reported in Science Translational Medicine, the team built these viable lungs from the scaffolding of a donated organ. Next, they removed one lung from every recipient pig, and used cells from those lungs, together with the collagen scaffold, growth factors, and media, to grow a new lung in a bioreactor. Bioengineered organs are a hopeful solution to this problem, enabling needed organs to be engineered in a lab, then transplanted into the patient. But what if it was possible to grow new, personalized organs for each patient in need of a transplant?

"The number of people who have developed severe lung injuries has increased worldwide, while the number of available transplantable organs have decreased", study author Joaquin Cortiella, a professor of pediatric anesthesia, said in a university news release.

On a "scaffold" in the laboratory, the appropriate cells were placed, which, after a 30 day culture, created a new lung. This left them with just the proteins of each lung - essentially, its skeleton. "The bioengineered lung facilitates the development of a blood supply and provides for the establishment of natural lung microbial flora", John Hunt, who studies tissue engineering at Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom and was not involved in this research, tells BBC News.

In order to produce a bio-engineered lung, a support scaffold is needed that meets structural needs of a lung.

China Rejects US Request to Cut Iran Oil Imports
Beijing , however, agreed not to increase purchases of Iranian crude, said the officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. The nuclear deal with world powers would have allowed Iran to replace its aging commercial fleet.

The researchers assessed the development of lung tissue and integration of the bioengineered lungs at 10 hours, two weeks, one month and two months after the transplants.

As the cells came from the same animal that then received a bioengineered lung, there was no organ rejection.

There was no signs of pulmonary edema, which is usually a sign of the vasculature not being mature enough, according to the researchers. And to top it all off, the organs' vascular network integrated - sometimes as soon as two weeks later - with the pigs' natural system of blood vessels. They said that they now hoped to do the same in humans within five to ten years and so help to reduce the long waiting times for people awaiting lung transplants. They didn't evaluate how much the bioengineered lung provided oxygenation to the animal.

The obvious interest of this research is how this translates into medical applications for human transplants.

"This project has taken 15 years to get to this point and we are thrilled that we did so well", Nichols said.

Related Articles