In Vitro Models to Study Human Lung Development, Disease and Homeostasis

Physiology (Bethesda). 2017 May;32(3):246-260. doi: 10.1152/physiol.00041.2016.


The main function of the lung is to support gas exchange, and defects in lung development or diseases affecting the structure and function of the lung can have fatal consequences. Most of what we currently understand about human lung development and disease has come from animal models. However, animal models are not always fully able to recapitulate human lung development and disease, highlighting an area where in vitro models of the human lung can compliment animal models to further understanding of critical developmental and pathological mechanisms. This review will discuss current advances in generating in vitro human lung models using primary human tissue, cell lines, and human pluripotent stem cell derived lung tissue, and will discuss crucial next steps in the field.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques / methods
  • Cell Line
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Homeostasis*
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques / methods*
  • In Vitro Techniques / trends
  • Lung / growth & development*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Lung Diseases / metabolism
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / physiology
  • Regeneration