Chronic lung diseases are increasing in prevalence with over 65 million patients worldwide. Lung transplantation remains the only potential option at end-stage disease. Around 4000 patients receive lung transplants annually with more awaiting transplantation, including 1000 patients in Europe. New options to increase available tissue for lung transplantation are desperately needed.
An exciting new research area focuses on generating lung tissue ex vivo using bioengineering approaches. Scaffolds can be generated from synthetic or biologically-derived (acellular) materials, seeded with cells and grown in a bioreactor prior to transplantation. Ideally, scaffolds would be seeded with cells derived from the transplant recipient, thus obviating the need for long-term immunosuppression. However, functional regeneration has yet to be achieved. New advances in 3D printing and 3D bioprinting (when cells are printed) indicate that this once thought of science-fiction concept might finally be mature enough for complex tissues, including lung. 3D bioprinting addresses a number of concerns identified in previous approaches, such as a) patient heterogeneity in acellular human scaffolds, b) anatomical differences in xenogeneic sources, c) lack of biological cues on synthetic materials and d) difficulty in manufacturing the complex lung architecture. 3D bioprinting could be a reproducible, scalable, and controllable approach for generating functional lung tissue.
The aim of this proposal is to use custom 3D bioprinters to generate constructs mimicking lung tissue using an innovative approach combining primary cells, the engineering reproducibility of synthetic materials, and the biologically conductive properties of acellular lung (hybrid). We will 3D bioprint hybrid murine and human lung tissue models and test gas exchange, angiogenesis and in vivo immune responses. This proposal will be a critical first step in demonstrating feasibility of 3D bioprinting lung tissue.
Field of science
- /engineering and technology/environmental engineering/energy and fuels/fossil energy/gas
- /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/transplantation
- /engineering and technology/environmental biotechnology/bioremediation/bioreactor
Call for proposal
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