Michigan researchers grow three-dimensional lung tissue

Michigan University researchers have successfully coaxed stem cells to grow into three-dimensional lung tissue which could be useful in future cell-based therapies that repair damaged lungs by cultivating new, healthy tissue, according to a university article.
Michigan researchers grew the tissue by injecting stem cells into a specially developed biodegradable scaffold, then implanting the device in mice, where the cells grew and matured into lung tissue, according to the article.

The team's findings were published in the Nov. 1 issue of the journal eLife.

Cell-based therapies could be a key to improving treatment, helping damaged lungs heal in much the same way as a bone marrow transplant can treat leukemia, according to the article. But the complexity of lung tissue makes such treatments much more difficult to develop.
“Lung tissue needs to be able to form into specific structures like airways and bronchi, and they all need to be able to work together inside the lung. So we can't just add in healthy adult cells,” Lonnie Shea, the William and Valerie Hall Department Chair of Biomedical Engineering and a professor of biomedical engineering at U-M said in the article.

“Instead, we're looking at delivering the precursors to these cells, then giving them the cues they need to develop and mature on their own. This project was a step in that direction,” Shea, a BMES member, said.

Read the full article HERE.

Read the journal article HERE.