Introduction: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) affects more than 380 million people, causing more than 3 million deaths annually worldwide. Despite this enormous burden, currently available therapies are largely limited to symptom control. Lung transplant is considered for end-stage disease but is severely limited by the availability of human organs. Furthermore, the pre-transplant course is a complex orchestration of locating and harvesting suitable lungs, and the post-transplant course is complicated by rejection and infection. Lung tissue bioengineering has the potential to relieve the organ shortage and improve the post-transplant course by generating patient-specific lungs for transplant. Additionally, emerging progenitor cell therapies may facilitate in vivo regeneration of pulmonary tissue, obviating the need for transplant. Areas Covered: We review several lung tissue bioengineering approaches including the recellularization of decellularized scaffolds, 3D bioprinting, genetically-engineered xenotransplantation, blastocyst complementation, and direct therapy with progenitor cells. Articles were identified by searching relevant terms (see Key Words) in the PubMed database and selected for inclusion based on novelty and uniqueness of their approach. Expert Opinion: Lung tissue bioengineering research is in the early stages. Of the methods reviewed, only direct cell therapy has been investigated in humans. We anticipate a minimum of 5–10 years before human therapy will be feasible.
- cell therapy
- lung bioengineering
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural