Human lungs grown in lab for first time
Human lungs are among the most difficult organs to grow artificially, but researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch say they have grown aet of lungs inside a fish tank.
The lungs used cells from two deceased children who died from trauma. Taking collagen and elastin – protein building blocks for connective tissue in the lungs – from one pair of lungs as a “scaffold” for the building process, the scientists then added cells from the other set of lungs for a more complete set. The lungs were then immersed in a nutritious liquid for four weeks, which made it pinker, softer and less dense.
While this is a landmark case of regenerative medicine, it's only an early step in the research process. The researchers say they will next attempt to place lab-grown lungs inside a pig.