Isolation and air-liquid interface culture of human large airway and bronchiolar epithelial cells

J Cyst Fibros. 2004 Aug;3 Suppl 2:49-51. doi: 10.1016/j.jcf.2004.05.010.


This article describes the techniques of isolation and culture of human airway epithelial cells from large airways and from distal airways. Both cell types are obtained from lung pieces collected during surgery. The protocols start with an initial step of washing and dissection of the lung pieces to separate large airways or distal airways from the surrounding parenchyma. The second step is enzymatic isolation of epithelial cells from the dissected large or distal airways. Cells are then collected by centrifugation and then seeded onto collagen surfaces. Epithelial cells can be grown at an air-liquid interface and usually form a confluent and functional epithelial layer within days.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Epithelial Cells
  • Histocytological Preparation Techniques / methods*
  • Humans
  • Respiratory Mucosa / pathology*
  • Specimen Handling / methods*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / methods