Bioengineered lungs generated from human iPSCs-derived epithelial cells on native extracellular matrix

J Tissue Eng Regen Med. 2018 Mar;12(3):e1623-e1635. doi: 10.1002/term.2589. Epub 2017 Nov 28.


The development of an alternative source for donor lungs would change the paradigm of lung transplantation. Recent studies have demonstrated the potential feasibility of using decellularized lungs as scaffolds for lung tissue regeneration and subsequent implantation. However, finding a reliable cell source and the ability to scale up for recellularization of the lung scaffold still remain significant challenges. To explore the possibility of regeneration of human lung tissue from stem cells in vitro, populations of lung progenitor cells were generated from human iPSCs. To explore the feasibility of producing engineered lungs from stem cells, we repopulated decellularized human lung and rat lungs with iPSC-derived epithelial progenitor cells. The iPSCs-derived epithelial progenitor cells lined the decellularized human lung and expressed most of the epithelial markers when were cultured in a lung bioreactor system. In decellularized rat lungs, these human-derived cells attach and proliferate in a manner similar to what was observed in the decellularized human lung. Our results suggest that repopulation of lung matrix with iPSC-derived lung epithelial cells may be a viable strategy for human lung regeneration and represents an important early step toward translation of this technology.

Keywords: decellularized lung; epithelial cells; induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC); lung implant; tissue regeneration bioreactor.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioengineering / methods*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Endoderm / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology*
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Humans
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology*
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Microvessels / cytology
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Tissue Scaffolds / chemistry


  • Biomarkers