Artificial Lungs: Current Status and Future Directions
Purpose of Review
Although lung transplantation can be used to treat lung failure, limited donor organ availability creates a pressing need for improved artificial lung technology. This review discusses recent developments and future research pathways for respiratory assist devices and regenerative therapies intended to treat advanced lung disease.
Hollow fiber membrane gas exchangers can be used to bridge lung failure patients to transplantation. Engineering improvements to such devices are on the verge of enabling longer term wearable systems that simplify and improve support. Progress with microchannel-based devices provides hope of smaller, more biomimetic devices that may even enable implantation; however, further development and testing are needed. Advances in cell-based technologies and tissue engineering have enabled early proof of concept of bioartificial lungs with properties similar to the native organ.
Recent progress with artificial lungs has enabled better treatment as a bridge therapy. Continued advances in both engineering and biology will be necessary to achieve a truly implantable artificial lung capable of destination therapy.
KeywordsArtificial lungs Oxygenator Lung disease Lung transplantation Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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