Airway-On-A-Chip: Designs and Applications for Lung Repair and Disease Bennet, Tanya J.; Randhawa, Avineet; Hua, Jessica; Cheung, Karen C.
The lungs are affected by illnesses including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and infections such as influenza and SARS-CoV-2. Physiologically relevant models for respiratory conditions will be essential for new drug development. The composition and structure of the lung extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a major role in the function of the lung tissue and cells. Lung-on-chip models have been developed to address some of the limitations of current two-dimensional in vitro models. In this review, we describe various ECM substitutes utilized for modeling the respiratory system. We explore the application of lung-on-chip models to the study of cigarette smoke and electronic cigarette vapor. We discuss the challenges and opportunities related to model characterization with an emphasis on in situ characterization methods, both established and emerging. We discuss how further advancements in the field, through the incorporation of interstitial cells and ECM, have the potential to provide an effective tool for interrogating lung biology and disease, especially the mechanisms that involve the interstitial elements.
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