Human Pulmonary 3D Models For Translational Research

Biotechnol J. 2018 Jan;13(1):1700341. doi: 10.1002/biot.201700341. Epub 2017 Sep 20.


Lung diseases belong to the major causes of death worldwide. Recent innovative methodological developments now allow more and more for the use of primary human tissue and cells to model such diseases. In this regard, the review covers bronchial air-liquid interface cultures, precision cut lung slices as well as ex vivo cultures of explanted peripheral lung tissue and de-/re-cellularization models. Diseases such as asthma or infections are discussed and an outlook on further areas for development is given. Overall, the progress in ex vivo modeling by using primary human material could make translational research activities more efficient by simultaneously fostering the mechanistic understanding of human lung diseases while reducing animal usage in biomedical research.

Keywords: 3D models; alveolar; bronchial; human lung tissue; infections.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bronchi / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases / physiopathology
  • Lung Diseases / therapy*
  • Translational Research, Biomedical*