The main function of the lung is to support gas exchange, and defects in lung development or diseases affecting the structure and function of the lung can have fatal consequences. Most of what we currently understand about human lung development and disease has come from animal models. However, animal models are not always fully able to recapitulate human lung development and disease, highlighting an area where in vitro models of the human lung can compliment animal models to further understanding of critical developmental and pathological mechanisms. This review will discuss current advances in generating in vitro human lung models using primary human tissue, cell lines, and human pluripotent stem cell derived lung tissue, and will discuss crucial next steps in the field.
J.R.S. is supported by the NIH-NHLBI (R01 HL-119215). A.J.M. was supported by the NIH Cellular and Molecular Biology training grant at Michigan (T32 GM-007315) and by the Tissue Engineering and Regeneration training grant (T32 DE-007057).
No conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise, are declared by the author(s).
- Copyright © 2017 Int. Union Physiol. Sci./Am. Physiol. Soc.