Join The Discussion

 

Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

read more >

Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

read more >

Ski Grand Prairie? TCU, UTA grad helping bring snow to Metroplex

For Levi Davis last week may have been a career peak, in more ways than one.

read more >

GE rises most in year with equipment order increases, including at Fort Worth locomotive unit

NEW YORK — General Electric Co. beat analysts' profit estimates in the third quarter as Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Immelt squeezed more costs from the manufacturing units.

read more >

Cheesecake Factory gets ready to serve; Sundance tree lighting set

The Cheesecake Factory at Sundance Square will open on Dec. 9, officials with Sundance announced today. The 8,800-square-foot restaurant - being built in the

read more >

Texas medical center creates human lungs in a lab

 

Elizabeth Cohen

Senior Medical Correspondent

(CNN) -- For the first time, scientists have created human lungs in a lab -- an exciting step forward in regenerative medicine, but an advance that likely won't help patients for many years.

"It's so darn cool," said Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch. "It's been science fiction and we're moving into science fact."

If the lungs work -- and that's a big if -- they could help the more than 1,600 people awaiting a lung transplant. Lungs are one of many body parts being manufactured in the lab -- some parts, such as tracheas and livers, are even further along.

"Whole-organ engineering is going to work as a solution to the organ donor shortage," said Dr. Stephen Badylak, deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

The researchers in Galveston, Texas, started with lungs from two children who'd died from trauma, most likely a car accident, Nichols said. Their lungs were too damaged to be used for transplantation, but they did have some healthy tissue.

They took one of the lungs and stripped away nearly everything, leaving a scaffolding of collagen and elastin.

The scientists then took cells from the other lung and put them on the scaffolding. They immersed the structure in a large chamber filled with a liquid "resembling Kool-Aid," Nichols said, which provided nutrients for the cells to grow. After about four weeks, an engineered human lung emerged.

Repeating the process, they created another lung from two other children who'd died.

The lab-made lungs look very much like the real thing, Nichols says, just pinker, softer and less dense.

Nichols said she thinks it will be another 12 years or so until they'll be ready to try using these lungs for transplants.

"My students will be doing the work when I'm old and retired and can't hold a pipette anymore," she said.

Before researchers experiment on humans, they'll try out lab-made lungs on pigs, she said.

Doctors have already had success transplanting patients with synthetic tracheas. The first procedure was done in 2011, and since then, six more have been done.

Two of the patients have died of causes unrelated to their tracheas, said David Green, CEO of Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology, which makes equipment used to make engineered body parts.

CNN's John Bonifield and CNN intern Arianna Yanes contributed to this report.

< back

Email   email
hide
Ebola
How worried are you about Ebola spreading?