Three-dimensional scaffolds of acellular human and porcine lungs for high throughput studies of lung disease and regeneration

Biomaterials. 2014 Mar;35(9):2664-79. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.11.078. Epub 2014 Jan 8.


Acellular scaffolds from complex whole organs such as lung are being increasingly studied for ex vivo organ generation and for in vitro studies of cell-extracellular matrix interactions. We have established effective methods for efficient de and recellularization of large animal and human lungs including techniques which allow multiple small segments (∼ 1-3 cm(3)) to be excised that retain 3-dimensional lung structure. Coupled with the use of a synthetic pleural coating, cells can be selectively physiologically inoculated via preserved vascular and airway conduits. Inoculated segments can be further sliced for high throughput studies. Further, we demonstrate thermography as a powerful noninvasive technique for monitoring perfusion decellularization and for evaluating preservation of vascular and airway networks following human and porcine lung decellularization. Collectively, these techniques are a significant step forward as they allow high throughput in vitro studies from a single lung or lobe in a more biologically relevant, three-dimensional acellular scaffold.

Keywords: Acellular matrix; Endothelial cell; Epithelial cell; Extracellular matrix (ECM); Human lung fibroblast; Mesenchymal stem cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cadaver
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Fibroblasts / cytology
  • Humans
  • Infrared Rays
  • Lung / pathology*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Lung / ultrastructure
  • Lung Diseases / pathology
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Perfusion
  • Regeneration*
  • Sus scrofa
  • Thermography
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry*