Saturday, February 15, 2014

New Lungs from Scrap Lungs

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch have announced that they've successfully grown fresh human lungs from tissue borrowed from damaged lungs. Researchers took lungs that were too damaged to be used in transplant, and stripped all cellular material from them, leaving a sort of "lung scaffolding." They then took live lung tissue from another non-transplantable lung and put it on the scaffolding, and "fed" the cells with a bath of nutrients that "looks alot like Kool-aid" in an aquarium purchased from a local pet-shop. The cells from the second lung "colonized" the scaffolding, and generated a complete lung in only three days. The hope is that this technology will greatly decrease the shortage of organs for transplantation. But actual transplantation is 5 to 10 years in the future. The lungs need to be tested (probably in pigs) for function, ability to grow, robustness, and so on.

No comments:

Post a Comment