Scientists have reportedly created human lungs in a lab for the first time but the advance is unlikely to help patients for many years.
CNN reported that researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston took lungs from two children who had died from trauma and stripped one of all damaged tissue, leaving scaffolding made of collagen and elastin.
They then took cells from the other lung and put them on the scaffolding, immersed them in a liquid filled with nutrients to support cell growth and waited.
The lungs that grew look just like natural lungs, but are pinker, softer and less dense, said Joan Nichols, a researcher at the university.
It will probably take about 12 years before artificially created lungs will be used for transplants, Nichols said. Researchers will try out lab-made lungs on pigs before experimenting on humans, she said.
“My students will be doing the work when I’m old and retired and can’t hold a pipette (dropper) anymore,” she was quoted as saying.
(From news reports)