Article Abstract

Artificial lung

Authors: Francesco Petrella, Lorenzo Spaggiari

Abstract

Lung transplantation remains the definitive curative treatment for end-stage lung disease. However, future applications of tissue bioengineering could overcome the donor organ shortage and the need for immunosuppression. The final goal of lung tissue engineering is to recreate the whole spectrum of specialized lung tissues and thereby provide physiologic functions through bioengineered conducting airways, vasculature and gas exchange tissue. This review focuses on ongoing research in artificial lung development, open questions, achievements to date and how tissue engineering and stem cell technology may further contribute to the clinical application of bioartificial lungs. Although experimental transplantation of bioartificial lung developed by perfusing decellularized or synthetic scaffolds has been shown to provide gas exchange in vivo over a prolonged period, it should be clearly acknowledged that the development of a transplantable bioartificial lung is far from reality.

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