Researchers at Imperial College London claim that they have been able to nudge embryonic stem cells into becoming some of the highly specialised cells of the lung. However, they cautioned that it may take years before they are able to repair or build lungs. Currently there is a huge shortage of lungs for transplant medicine. Tissue produced from stem cells could be used to repair damaged tissue within the body or it could be grown on “biological scaffolds”. This is a far more challenging development. Professor Stephen Spiro, a spokesman for the British Lung Foundation, says the work is still in its early stages. The study has been published in the journal Tissue Engineering.
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