Scientists at the University of Cambridge and University of Manchester are using stem cells to create study environments that closely resemble human tissue which they call “mini lungs.” These lungs are not designed to be transplanted, but offer a valuable biological use in evaluating new treatments and therapies.
This application is a byproduct of researchers’ search for new stem cell-based therapies for cystic fibrosis. Scientists used human foregut stem cells derived from skin cells of cystic fibrosis patients to grow “mini lungs,” permitting experimentation in a realistic human-derived model.
“While they only represent the distal (outer) part of lung tissue, they are grown from human cells and so can be more reliable than using traditional animal models,” explained the study’s lead author Dr. Nicholas Ray-Francis Hannan. “We can use them to learn more about key aspects of serious diseases — in our case, cystic fibrosis.”
These mini lungs will help researchers evaluate tens of thousands of compounds for their potential use in the treatment of a broad spectrum of lung diseases, including cystic fibrosis, lung cancer, pneumonia tuberculosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma. To learn more about stem cells, and how families can bank their own valuable stem cells by recovering the very powerful dental pulp stem cells during routine dental procedures; such as wisdom teeth extractions or the during the loss of baby teeth, visit StemSave or call 877-783-6728 (877-StemSave) today.
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