As recent findings suggest, the transplantation of lungs produced in mice offers new possibilities for future transplantation in humans.

Millions of people worldwide suffer from severe and irreversible lung diseases that require transplants, but this cannot always be done due to a lack of available organs. Current bioengineering therapies to regenerate these organs are unable to replicate the extraordinary cellular diversity and complex three-dimensional structures needed for gas exchange in the lungs.

To find a solution to this problem, a recent article describes the successful generation of functional lungs in mice through a blastocyst complementation approach that replaces the missing organ tissue in mice without lungs, and how new organ tissue can be developed in them using mouse iPS cells. The mice produced survived to adulthood and their lungs functioned the same as those of normal mice, according to the authors.

These results could pave the way to producing artificial organs in larger animals that could be used in the future in human medicine, a practice that would not, in principle, entail any ethical difficulty, since iPS cells would be used to produce them.

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