Lung Regeneration

The lung project focuses on the goal of deriving a functioning, transplantable human lung by combining native extracellular matrix scaffolds and novel recellularization approaches. We have worked to optimize clinical scale perfusion decellularization protocols for both porcine and human lungs not suitable for transplantation. We have validated the resulting acellular scaffold in regards to matrix integrity and structure, and cellular biocompatibility. We are also working on the design and functional testing of whole lung bioreactors capable of extended biomimetic culture for use in organ regeneration. Cellular approaches required for effective lung scaffold recellularization require both endothelial and epithelial replacement. As a team, we are working on both stem cell-derived and gene modified cell approaches to optimize the populations best used for lung recellularization and to identify solutions to overcome the large cell numbers required. By combining expertise in stem cell and developmental biology, molecular biology, lung repair, and bioengineering we hope to contribute to the ultimate aim of personalized medicine in whole lung regeneration.