Tags: human | lung | grown | lab

Human Lung Grown in Lab

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 05:03 PM

For the first time, researchers have successfully grown a human lung in a lab, Medical Xpress reports.
 
The University of Texas team — led by Joaquin Cortiella, M.D., and Joan Nichols — announced the landmark breakthrough to the press this week, noting scientists have been able to grow organs in the lab in recent years as more is learned about how stem cells mature to become the cells that make up organs and other body parts.
 
Windpipes, for example, have been successfully grown and implanted into human patients, and Massachusetts General Hospital recently implanted lab-grown kidneys into rats.
 
Dr. Nichols said the lungs grown in the Texas lab were from two deceased juveniles. The first lung was stripped of its cells leaving just a scaffolding of elastin and collagen. Healthy cells were then taken from the second lung and applied to the scaffolding and placed in a tank filled with nutrient-rich solution for four weeks. During that time, new cell growth filled in the scaffolding resulting in a new lung. The team then repeated the experiment with another set of lungs and found the same result.
 
The researchers don't know how well the newly grown lung would work if it were implanted into a person, but said the advance shows growing lungs in a lab is possible and such organs could eventually be used to replace damaged lungs in patients, helping thousands of people who die every year waiting on a transplant.
 
Dr. Nichols, who suggested the team has taken something from science fiction and made it a reality, now plans to repeat the process with pig lungs and implant them into a live pig to see how well they actually work.

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Researchers have successfully grown a human lung in a lab for the first time, potentially pointing the way to a new way to supply organs for transplants.
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2014-03-18
Tuesday, 18 Feb 2014 05:03 PM
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