Tissue Engineered Airways: A Prospects Article

Stephanie L. Bogan, Gui Zhen Teoh, Martin A. Birchall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


An ideal tracheal scaffold must withstand luminal collapse yet be flexible, have a sufficient degree of porosity to permit vascular and cellular ingrowth, but also be airtight and must facilitate growth of functional airway epithelium to avoid infection and aid in mucocilliary clearance. Finally, the scaffold must also be biocompatible to avoid implant rejection. Over the last 40 years, efforts to design and manufacture the airway have been undertaken worldwide but success has been limited and far apart. As a result, tracheal resection with primary repair remains the Gold Standard of care for patients presenting with airway disorders and malignancies. However, the maximum resectable length of the trachea is restricted to 30% of the total length in children or 50% in adults. Attempts to provide autologous grafts for human application have also been disappointing for a host of different reasons, including lack of implant integration, insufficient donor organs, and poor mechanical strength resulting in an unmet clinical need. The two main approaches researchers have taken to address this issue have been the development of synthetic scaffolds and the use of decellularized organs. To date, a number of different decellularization techniques and a variety of materials, including polyglycolic acid (PGA) and nanocomposite polymers have been explored. The findings thus far have shown great promise, however, there remain a significant number of caveats accompanying each approach. That being said, the possibilities presented by these two approaches could be combined to produce a highly successful, clinically viable hybrid scaffold. This article aims to highlight advances in airway tissue engineering and provide an overview of areas to explore and utilize in accomplishing the aim of developing an ideal tracheal prosthesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1497-1505
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cellular Biochemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Tissue Engineered Airways: A Prospects Article'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this