TEDxVienna speaker Joan Nichols and her team created a human lung in a lab. Really. The Associate Director for Research and Operations at Galveston National Laboratory in Texas led a team of scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to successfully create a bio-engineered lung, she explains at TEDxVienna.
How? In short, in two parts. First, the team transformed a lung too damaged to transplant into a skeleton of sorts for the lab-grown lung. To create this skeleton, the team took this lung and removed its cells, using detergents and other methods of decellularization, until it became “a blank canvas” for engineered tissue grown in the lab, Nichols says. Second, they grew tissue — made from a donated lung that could not be transplanted, but still had viable cells.
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