Transplantable Artificial Lung Studied

BOSTON, July 13 (UPI) — U.S. researchers are developing an artificial lung that could be used in transplant surgeries to treat lung disease, observers say.

Fifty million sufferers of end-stage lung disease worldwide are candidates for lung transplant procedures but organ shortages are a limiting factor, an article in the journal Nature Medicine said Tuesday.

Researchers at Harvard University say they removed the cells from rat lungs while preserving a matrix with the structural characteristics of the original organ, then “seeded” the matrix with different lung cell types.

The “repopulated” matrices supported lung function and could even be transplanted into rats, where they functioned for up to six hours, lead researcher Harald Ott at the Harvard Medical School said.

The research could lead to transplantable lung grafts as a potential treatment for lung disease, the journal article said.

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