Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on imrpress.com as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.
Lung tissue engineering is an emerging field focused on the development of lung replacement devices and tissue to treat patients with end stage lung disease. Microfluidic based lung assist devices have been developed that have biomimetically designed vascular networks that achieve physiologic blood flow. Gas exchange in these devices occurs across a thin respiratory membrane. Designed for intrathoracic implantation as a bridge to transplant or destination therapy, these lung assist devices will allow ambulation and hospital discharge for patients with end stage lung disease. Decellularized lungs subsequently recellularized with epithelial and endothelial cells have been implanted in small animal models with demonstration of initial gas exchange. Further development of these tissues and scaling to large animal models will validate this approach and may be an organ source for lung transplantation. Initial clinical success has been achieved with decellularized tracheal implants using autologous stem cells. Development of microfluidic lung models using similar architecture to the lung assist device technology allows study of lung biology and diseases with manipulation of lung cells and respiratory membrane strain.