The development of the bioartificial lung

Greg Lemon, Mei Ling Lim, Fatemeh Ajalloueian, Paolo Macchiarini

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The incidence of chronic lung disease is increasing worldwide due to the spread of risk factors and ageing population. An important advance in treatment would be the development of a bioartificial lung where the blood-gas exchange surface is manufactured from a synthetic or natural scaffold material that is seeded with the appropriate stem or progenitor cells to mimic the functional tissue of the natural lung. Articles relating to bioartificial lungs were sourced through PubMed and ISI Web of Knowledge. There is a consensus that advances in bioartificial lung engineering will be beneficial to patients with chronic lung failure. Ultimate success will require the concerted efforts of researchers drawn from a broad range of disciplines, including clinicians, cell biologists, materials scientists and engineers. As a source of cells for use in bioartificial lungs it is proposed to use human embryonic stem cells; however, there are ethical and safety concerns regarding the use of these cells. There is a need to identify the optimum strategies for differentiating progenitor cells into functional lung cells; a need to better understand cell-biomaterial/ECM interactions and a need to understand how to harness the body's natural capacity to regenerate the lung. Biomaterial technologies for recreating the natural lung ECM and architecture need further development. Mathematical modelling techniques should be developed for determining optimal scaffold seeding strategies and predicting gas exchange performance.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Medical Bulletin
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)35-45
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Articles
  • artificial lung
  • lung failure
  • stem cells
  • Medicine (all)
  • Artificial lung
  • Lung failure
  • Stem cells
  • biomaterial
  • collagen
  • lactic acid
  • macrogol
  • nanocomposite
  • nanomaterial
  • polyethylene terephthalate
  • polyurethan
  • polyvinyl alcohol
  • silicone
  • article
  • bioartificial lung
  • bioartificial organ
  • bioethics
  • bioreactor
  • cell adhesion
  • embryonic stem cell
  • extracellular matrix
  • extracorporeal oxygenation
  • human
  • hydrogel
  • lung gas exchange
  • lung insufficiency
  • priority journal
  • cell-biomaterial/ ECM interaction
  • organ regeneration
  • chronic lung failure respiratory system disease
  • Primates Mammalia Vertebrata Chordata Animalia (Animals, Chordates, Humans, Mammals, Primates, Vertebrates) - Hominidae [86215] human common
  • 02506, Cytology - Animal
  • 02508, Cytology - Human
  • 10511, Biophysics - Bioengineering
  • 15002, Blood - Blood and lymph studies
  • 15004, Blood - Blood cell studies
  • 16004, Respiratory system - Physiology and biochemistry
  • 16006, Respiratory system - Pathology
  • 25502, Development and Embryology - General and descriptive
  • Allied Medical Sciences
  • Human Medicine, Medical Sciences
  • embryonic stem cell embryonic structure
  • lung cell respiratory system
  • progenitor cell blood and lymphatics
  • bioartificial lung engineering clinical techniques
  • computational modeling mathematical and computer techniques
  • computer software package mathematical and computer techniques
  • mathematical modeling mathematical and computer techniques
  • stem cell therapy therapeutic and prophylactic techniques, clinical techniques
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Pulmonary Medicine


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