Symposium: Bioengineering the Lung: From Myth to Reality
Sponsored by: American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology
Track: Tissue Remodeling and Repair
Monday, April 28, 2014
8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
Room 20A, San Diego Convention Center
Kurt R. Stenmark
Diseases that affect the lung and pulmonary vasculature cause significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. In this regard, conditions such as COPD, interstitial fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension are particularly problematic. With no “cures”, clinical management relies on multimodal drug therapies, rehabilitation and, for end-stage cases, lung transplantation. Furthermore, conditions such as tracheal stenosis, tumors invading large extrapulmonary airways, and malformations of larger pulmonary vessels all require replacement strategies beyond artificial grafts. However, transplantation of allogeneic lung, airway and vascular tissue is limited by shortage of donors, graft rejections and long term sequelae of immune suppression. Organ bioengineering is an exciting and emerging solution, the aim of which is de novo generation of tissues and organs for transplantation. However, building complex organs such as the lung, which need to function immediately and effectively upon transplantation, will require collaborative, multi-disciplinary research into biocompatible materials and scaffolds, cellularization of implantable structures (especially using stem cells), airway, alveolar and vascular mechanics and physiology, and immunology.
The symposium entitled “Bioengineering the Lung: From Myth to Reality” will bring together leaders in the field of tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, physiology, and immunology, who will highlight new scientific advances in our current understanding of some of these key concepts of organ bioengineering, as well as current challenges to design, implementation and utilization of engineered lung tissues for transplantation. The symposium will begin with a discussion of biocompatible scaffold design/production that allow cellularization while maintaining mechanical properties critical for the transplanted lung to function (Sarah Gilpin). Here, new biocompatible materials as well as de-cellularized scaffolds from large animals hold great promise. These advances in biomaterials will need to be matched by innovative techniques for cellularization of anatomically appropriate scaffolds, and thus better understanding of factors that control stem or progenitor cell adhesion, migration, differentiation and survival (Daniel Weiss). Subsequently, mechanical forces resulting from repetitive lung inflation/deflation and blood flow pulsatility in vascular homeostasis become important for the bioengineering organ to withstand forces within the chest cavity following transplantation, without collapse, injury or failure of blood and gas exchange. From an integrative physiology perspective, a functional bioengineered lung will be the test of successful collaborative research. Exciting advances in “putting together” a bioengineered lung (Panoskaltsis-Mortari) will be discussed.
Finally, the “proof” will be in the “pudding” of surgical and clinical reality of when and whether a fully functional bioengineered lung can be placed into humans. There is certainly no consensus regarding the reality, reliability and applicability of bioengineered lungs. An outstanding way to put forth this concept is a lively debate stimulated by asking the question: is lung bioengineering myth or reality (Bhattacharya).
This symposium will appeal to a wide audience of anatomists, cell/molecular biologists, physiologists, and biomedical engineers. The appeal for researchers and clinicians in pulmonary physiology and medicine is clear. The talks are intended to provide translational bridges between diverse, yet collaborative, areas that are fundamental to advancing this field. The symposium will also highlight an ongoing Call for Papers on this topic by Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol, helping to enhance contribution of FASEB members from different societies to APS journals.
Decellularized scaffolds for tissue engineering.
Sarah Gilpin. Massachusetts Gen. Hosp.
Stem cells in bioengineering the lung.
Daniel J. Weiss. Univ. of Vermont
The bioengineered lung: putting it all together.
Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari. Univ. of Minnesota
Bioengineered lung: myth or reality?
Jahar Bhattacharya. Columbia Univ.