Regenerative medicine holds enormous promise for the repair or replacement of organ systems where there are no treatments available other than conventional organ transplantation. For the millions of patients worldwide who are living with end stage lung disease, there is a huge discrepancy between the small quantity of donor lungs available, and the number of patients who are desperately waiting for a transplant. Progress in the understanding and development of tissue-engineering continues apace, and in the future may offer solutions for both understanding how lung disease develops, as well as bridging the gap between supply and demand for replacement organs.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70116-X