Scientists at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles have developed a tissue-engineered model of lung and trachea which contains the diverse cell types present in the human respiratory tract.
The study, led by principal investigator Tracy Grikscheit, MD, a pediatric surgeon and scientist at The Saban Research Institute of CHLA, was published this week in the online version of the journal Tissue Engineering.
Previously, Grikscheit’s lab developed tissue-engineered small intestine (TESI) and showed that this regenerated tissue was functional and contained all of the key components of the native tissue. The Grikscheit lab employed a similar strategy to recapitulate the human lung and trachea, transplanting stem and progenitor cells on biodegradable polymer scaffolds. The tissue that grows from this strategy is termed tissue-engineered lung or TELu.
Transplanting regionally specific lung tissue (proximal or distal) from mice and humans generates TELu with typical location-specific tissue markers such as particular alveolar or air sac cells in the distal TELu or tracheal epithelial cells organized with cartilage and ciliated appendages for proximal lung. TEtrach, or tissue-engineered trachea, grew from the most proximal cells.
“We think that understanding lung regeneration in this model will allow several steps forward,” said Grikscheit, who is also a tenured associate professor of Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. “For example, advanced stages of disease can be studied with TELu that would be impossible to fully understand in our patients. Likewise,we can more quickly apply many more therapies in this model in order to – hopefully – deliver future human therapies.”
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, formerly Children’s Hospital Society, is a private, non-profit teaching hospital in Los Angeles.
The hospital provides multidisciplinary care to over 104,000 children each year, with physician expertise in over 100 pediatric specialties and subspecialties.
The hospital has been included in the Best Children’s Hospitals Honor Roll for 2012-2013 by U.S. News & World Report and is currently the 5th ranked children’s hospital in the United States and the top ranked children’s hospital in the western United States. It has also received Magnet Recognition from the American Nurses Credentialing Center.
The hospital is affiliated with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. The current president and CEO is Richard D. Cordova, FACHE. Mr. Cordova announced his plans to retire in December 2014.