Acellular human lung scaffolds to model lung disease and tissue regeneration

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Recent advances in whole lung bioengineering have opened new doors for studying lung repair and regeneration ex vivo using acellular human derived lung tissue scaffolds. Methods to decellularise whole human lungs, lobes or resected segments from normal and diseased human lungs have been developed using both perfusion and immersion based techniques. Immersion based techniques allow laboratories without access to intact lobes the ability to generate acellular human lung scaffolds. Acellular human lung scaffolds can be further processed into small segments, thin slices or extracellular matrix extracts, to study cell behaviour such as viability, proliferation, migration and differentiation. Recent studies have offered important proof of concept of generating sufficient primary endothelial and lung epithelial cells to recellularise whole lobes that can be maintained for several days ex vivo in a bioreactor to study regeneration. In parallel, acellular human lung scaffolds have been increasingly used for studying cell-extracellular environment interactions. These studies have helped provide new insights into the role of the matrix and the extracellular environment in chronic human lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Acellular human lung scaffolds are a versatile new tool for studying human lung repair and regeneration ex vivo.


External organisations
  • Massachusetts General Hospital
  • Harvard Medical School
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Respiratory Medicine and Allergy
Original languageEnglish
Article number180021
JournalEuropean Respiratory Review
Issue number148
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 30
Publication categoryResearch