Bioengineering the lung based on its natural extracellular matrix (ECM) offers novel opportunities to overcome the shortage of donors, to reduce chronic allograft rejections, and to improve the median survival rate of transplanted patients. During the last decade, lung tissue engineering has advanced rapidly to combine scaffolds, cells, and biologically active molecules into functional tissues to restore or improve the lung's main function, gas exchange. This review will inspect the current progress in lung bioengineering using decellularized and recellularized lung scaffolds and highlight future challenges in the field.
Lung decellularization and recellularization protocols have provided researchers with tools to progress toward functional lung tissue engineering. However, there is continuous evolution and refinement particularly for optimization of lung recellularization. These further the possibility of developing a transplantable bioartificial lung.
Bioengineering the lung using recellularized scaffolds could offer a curative option for patients with end-stage organ failure but its accomplishment remains unclear in the short-term. However, the state-of-the-art of techniques described in this review will increase our knowledge of the lung ECM and of chemical and mechanical cues which drive cell repopulation to improve the advances in lung regeneration and lung tissue engineering.
aDepartment of Medicine, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
bDepartment of Experimental Medical Science, Faculty of Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
Correspondence to Daniel J. Weiss, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, 226 Health Science Research Facility, Larner College of Medicine, University of Vermont, 149 Beaumont Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org