Author(s): Chistiakov DA
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Abstract Rapid repair of the denuded alveolar surface after injury is a key to survival. The respiratory tract contains several sources of endogenous adult stem cells residing within the basal layer of the upper airways, within or near pulmonary neuroendocrine cell rests, at the bronchoalveolar junction, and within the alveolar epithelial surface, which contribute to the repair of the airway wall. Bone marrow-derived adult mesenchymal stem cells circulating in blood are also involved in tracheal regeneration. However, an organism is frequently incapable of repairing serious damage and defects of the respiratory tract resulting from acute trauma, lung cancers, and chronic pulmonary and airway diseases. Therefore, replacement of the tracheal tissue should be urgently considered. The shortage of donor trachea remains a major obstacle in tracheal transplantation. However, implementation of tissue engineering and stem cell therapy-based approaches helps to successfully solve this problem. To date, huge progress has been achieved in tracheal bioengineering. Several sources of stem cells have been used for transplantation and airway reconstitution in animal models with experimentally induced tracheal defects. Most tracheal tissue engineering approaches use biodegradable three-dimensional scaffolds, which are important for neotracheal formation by promoting cell attachment, cell redifferentiation, and production of the extracellular matrix. The advances in tracheal bioengineering recently resulted in successful transplantation of the world's first bioengineered trachea. Current trends in tracheal transplantation include the use of autologous cells, development of bioactive cell-free scaffolds capable of supporting activation and differentiation of host stem cells on the site of injury, with a future perspective of using human native sites as micro-niche for potentiation of the human body's site-specific response by sequential adding, boosting, permissive, and recruitment impulses.
This article was published in J Biomed Sci
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