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Research team successfully grows human lung in lab

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Posted February 19, 2014
Research team successfully grows human lung in lab
Credit: UTMB
A team of researchers with the University of Texas has, for the first time, successfully grown a human lung in a lab. Project leads Dr. Joaquin Cortiella and Dr. Joan Nichols announced the landmark breakthrough to various members of the press this past week, describing the procedure and what was achieved.

Growing organs in the lab has become a reality in the past couple of years as scientists have learned more about stem cells and how they 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 just last spring, a team of researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston successfully implanted lab grown kidneys into rats. In this new effort, the researchers have been focusing on growing one of the most complicated organs in the human body—the lungs.

Nichols explained the procedure in simple terms. Lungs from two deceased juveniles were obtained. The first lung was stripped of all 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.

 

Read more at: MedicalXpress

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