Spotlight TEDx Talk: How we made a lung in a lab


 A lung grown by scientists at UTMB Galveston (Credit: Joan Nichols)

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.

Learn more in Nichol’s TEDx Talk below:


Insights from the TEDx office: Why we like this talk

  • The speaker is an expert in her field doing innovative work that holds promise for big discoveries in medicine and hard science. She presents a complex topic in an accessible way — using clear explanations, arresting visuals and without jargon or alienating language. We were captivated by her talk and wanted to learn more.

1 Comment

  1. Weduardo carvalho

    Fantastic work

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