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Artificial lungs offers hope to transplant patients

By Devaki

London, July 15 (ANI): Scientists have been able to grow artificial lungs that function in rats.

They hope that a similar technique could one day engineer donor organs for humans.

Currently, donor organs are in short supply, and rejection is likely even if a lung becomes available.

Teams from Harvard Medical School in Boston and Yale University first removed lungs from donor rats.

They then repopulated the remaining "scaffold" of connective tissue with foetal stem cells and incubated the organs in nutrients to help them grow.

According to New Scientist, the regenerated lungs worked up to 6 hours, after which oedema - accumulation of fluid within the lung - and capillary leakage occurred.

Lung-tissue engineer Joan Nichols at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston says the problem could be resolved by keeping the new organs in culture longer.

The study is published in Nature Medicine. (ANI)

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