Some positive news in that it is already in animal testing. They still need to prove the lung functionality out in the pig, but it was not rejected, it has continued to grow, mature and integrate into the body.
Also the time frame is only 5-10 years with is more agressive than we have seen elsewhere!
Bioengineered Lungs Transplanted Into Pigs By Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- Lab-grown lungs have been successfully transplanted into pigs with no apparent medical complication for months after the procedure, researchers report.
This line of research on bioengineered lungs could eventually lead to more options for people who need a lung transplant, according to the team at the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston.
"The number of people who have developed severe lung injuries has increased worldwide, while the number of available transplantable organs have decreased," study author Joaquin Cortiella, a professor of pediatric anesthesia, said in a university news release.
Joan Nichols, associate director of the Galveston National Laboratory at UTMB, added, "Our ultimate goal is to eventually provide new options for the many people awaiting a transplant."
The lungs, which were tissue-matched to each individual pig, were grown in the laboratory. Each pig received one bioengineered lung and retained an original lung.
As early as two weeks after being transplanted, the bioengineered lungs created a network of blood vessels they needed to survive, according to the study published Aug. 1 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The researchers assessed the development of lung tissue and integration of the bioengineered lungs at 10 hours, two weeks, one month and two months after the transplants. All of the pigs remained healthy during the study.
The study was meant to assess how well the bioengineered lungs adapted and continued to mature within a large, living body. It didn't evaluate the levels of oxygen the lungs provided to the pigs.
"We do know that the animals had 100 percent oxygen saturation, as they had one normal functioning lung," said Cortiella. "Even after two months, the bioengineered lung was not yet mature enough for us to stop the animal from breathing on the normal lung and switch to just the bioengineered lung."
Research in animals often doesn't pan out in humans, so further research is required. But the researchers said it may be possible to grow lungs to transplant into people within five to 10 years.
This is more impressive than I originally thought. This link provides move background on the studies and research. What the original article did no say is the lung that was transplanted was grown from the animals own cells, it was transplanted but did not require any anti rejection drugs as a normal transplant does.
To date they have experimented with how long the growth should be done before transplantation and they now appear to have a good grasp on that. The animals were only tested for certain lengths and then euthanized so that the state/function/health of the transplanted organ could be studied.
The next step appears to be to grow a new lung, transplant it, and at the right time stop the existing lung for providing oxygen forcing the animal to relay on the transplant.
Bioengineers Are Closer Than Ever To Lab-Grown Lungs