MENSCH & MASCHINE

Die Digitalisierung hat in nur wenigen Jahrzehnten unsere Lebenswirklichkeit bis fast in den letzten Winkel durchdrungen. Und viele ihrer Errungenschaften sind uns heute unentbehrlich. Doch wir stehen auch an einer Schwelle. Schon bald könnten Algorithmen und künstliche Intelligenz bestimmen, was es bedeutet, Mensch zu sein. Es ist also Zeit, dass wir uns neu bewusst zu werden, wer wir sind und warum wir den Computern und Cyborgs nicht unsere Zukunft überlassen wollen.

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Abundance Is Possible, But Only If Everyone’s Along for the Ride

In an interview at Singularity University’s Global Summit in San Francisco, Mark Brand suggested abundance won’t happen on its own—we’ve all got to pitch in to bring everyone along for the ride.

Brand is a social entrepreneur and restaurateur who’s started 11 businesses.

His driving purpose is to do well by doing good. Save On Meats, Brand’s Vancouver butcher shop and diner, is one example of this core philosophy in action. Customers can pick up plastic tokens at Save On and hand them out to anyone on the streets they think needs one—each token is good for a sandwich. Nearly 100,000 tokens have been redeemed to date.

“My work specifically is focused on food systems, system change, using design thinking to attack problems of homelessness, marginalization, poverty, and hunger,” Brand said. “We can continue to move forward as a planet, and really fix all of our [problems]…but if we don’t focus on the most marginalized, is that going to be fun for us at the end of it? Are we going to be happy with ourselves? And I say, ‘No.’ Universally, no.”

To get involved, Brand says, find a cause you care about and offer up your own special genius. Don’t offer to cook food if you’re a lawyer who doesn’t know how to cook—offer a few hours legal expertise instead.

Brand said he’s hugely optimistic about the future. Why?

“Empathy, my friend. I mean, empathy can save us, period. And people will be like, ‘You’re a crazy person, and everything’s going to explode. We’re going to war with North Korea tomorrow.’ We, as humans, are built and hard-wired to care about each other, and be in communities, period.”

He said his token project is reason for optimism.

“There’s only 631,000 people who live in downtown Vancouver…[and] 100,000 people of that have participated because they care? Yeah, we’re good. We just need to give people channels to participate.”

Image Credit: MJgraphics/Shutterstock.com

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To Achieve 100% Renewable Energy, We Need Way Better Batteries

When it comes to grid storage our batteries are terrible.

A grid powered entirely from solar and wind wouldn’t work with the current state of energy storage, as solar and wind don’t produce consistently, and they can’t be tweaked to meet demand. That is, solar energy can only be produced during cloudless days and wind energy only when it’s windy. Production also can’t be increased to provide consumers with more electricity during peak demand hours. How, then, will energy companies provide a consistent flow of electricity from renewable sources?

If we’re going to increase our reliance on solar and wind energy, the batteries to store that energy will need to get much better, and fast. Thankfully, many new (some bizarre) types are in the works.

Lithium Ion Batteries

Lithium ion is the most common type of battery, but the bigger it gets, the less useful it becomes. For consumer electronics, lithium ion batteries work well enough because they can be recharged quickly, and they offer high energy density, meaning they provide a lot of power for their size and weight. Even for medium-sized applications, such as powering electric cars, they get the job done.

The problem is that storing enough solar and wind power from commercial farms would require warehouses full of massive batteries, and at this size, two problems become apparent.

Cycling Stability

Cycling stability (PDF) is defined by “…the number of charging or discharging cycles until its capacity is reduced to a certain amount of its nominal capacity (typically 50 percent to 80 percent).” For lithium ion, it is an average of 1,000 cycles, thus reducing the feasibility of long-term investments.

Such a short life cycle is caused by tiny changes in the physical structure of the electrodes. As the lithium ions are transferred from the anode to the cathode during discharge, the nickel-oxide anode is eroded non-uniformly, and during recharge, the lithium ions crystallize around the cathode. Over time, these processes drastically reduce the performance of the battery, especially at high voltages.

Thermal Runaway

According to a paper in Nature, “Once the rate of heat generation exceeds the rate of heat dissipation into the environment, the temperature of the cell starts to rise; thereafter, a sequence of detrimental events propagates in a process known as thermal runaway.”

In lithium ion batteries, the authors claim, the process can begin between 90 and 120 degrees Celsius, leading to a positive feedback loop of exothermic reactions. The batteries used in small consumer electronics have a number of safety features to prevent this, even though some incidents still occur.

However, the bigger the battery, the higher the temperature, making the likelihood of this happening in large-scale solar and wind energy storage much higher.

Despite these problems, lithium ion batteries are being implemented for large-scale grid storage. The largest system was put online in San Diego in February, providing power to 20,000 people for four hours.

Tesla’s lithium ion Powerwall is designed to be installed in residential housing, but to charge it requires personal solar panels, something out of reach for the average person.

New Types of Batteries

While lithium ion batteries are improving, we need something even better if we’re going to transition to 100 percent renewables.

Redox Flow Batteries (RFBs)

RFBs offer a much longer charge/discharge cycle than lithium ion batteries, and they use an incombustible electrolyte, leading many to believe these might be the solution.

The US Department of Energy suggests (PDF) RFBs offer “a long cycle life (>5,000 deep cycles) due to excellent electrochemical reversibility,” and do not “present a fire hazard and use no highly reactive or toxic substances, minimizing safety and environmental issues.”

RFBs consist of two separate tanks that hold the charged vanadium atoms, which are used due to their unique ability to exist in more than one state. These are pumped past the electrodes, creating the charge, as shown this diagram (Fig. 2).

Other benefits include room temperature operation, high efficiency, and scalability. The downside is the cost, because vanadium is not easy to obtain in large quantities and the solutions need special polymers to contain them, although methods are being developed to make these more cost-effective.

Graphene-Enhanced

First isolated in 2004, graphene is only one atom of carbon thick, making it the world’s thinnest material. It is also chemically inert, an extremely good conductor, flexible, lightweight, and 200 times stronger than steel. Researchers at the University of Manchester, where graphene was first isolated, think it “could make batteries light, durable, and suitable for high-capacity energy storage from renewable generation.”

Some uses already discovered include enhancing the anode in rechargeable batteries to improve conductivity and using a hybrid of vanadium oxide and graphene to enhance the cathode, which can help charging and discharging speeds and lifespan.

However, the most exciting applications are in graphene-enhanced supercapacitors.

A supercapacitor is similar to a battery, except it stores energy in an electrical field rather than in a chemical form. This allows the supercapacitors to charge and discharge quickly and have a much longer lifespan, although they cannot store as much as a typical rechargeable battery and need to be much larger to store an equivalent charge.

By using graphene to improve supercapacitors, they will be able to increase their storage and decrease their size. Dr. Han Lin, a researcher at the Swinburne Centre for Micro-Photonics, claims, “In this process, no ions are being generated or being killed. They are maintained by charge and discharge, and are just moved around.”

Graphene-info.com states, “Graphene-improved performance thereby blurs the conventional line of distinction between supercapacitors and batteries.”

Advancements in 3D printing have allowed researchers to print graphene electrodes for supercapacitors, as well as graphene aerogels, which “will make for better energy storage, sensors, nanoelectronics, catalysis, and separations.”

Screen-Printed Batteries

Printed Energy, an Australian company, “is printing solid state batteries in a thin, flexible format that can be adapted to almost any shape.” These are printed in a roll-to-roll process much like newspapers, and they have a wide range of applications.

“Potential applications for the printed batteries range from powering disposable healthcare devices, sensors, internet-of-things devices, smart cards, wearable electronics and personal lighting to larger-scale applications such as in combination with flexible solar panels to help manage intermittency and energy storage.”

For large-scale solar and wind storage, the idea is to affix the batteries to solar panels or wind turbines, thus allowing them to be both the generator and battery.

Cellulose

Researchers at the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology have begun integrating cellulose, the stuff plants are made of, into batteries. They use this plant matter to create a nanolayer, called a c-mat, between electrodes to prevent short circuits, reduce leakage current, and increase capacity retention at high temperatures.

One of the main researchers states, “The c-mat separator is expected to be used for next-generation high-performance batteries with high temperature stability—for example, in large-sized batteries for electric vehicles and grid-scale electricity storage systems.”

Many other uses for cellulose in batteries are currently being researched.

Thermal Energy Storage (TES)

TES is a system for storing excess solar energy by heating or cooling a medium so that it can be used later. The International Renewable Energy Agency states, “TES is becoming particularly important for electricity storage in combination with concentrating solar power (CSP) plants where solar heat can be stored for electricity production when sunlight is not available.”

There are three types of TES:

  • Sensible heat storage, which is the most common, stores thermal energy by heating or cooling a substance like sand, molten salt, rocks, or water.
  • Latent heat storage is similar except it uses phase change materials, which absorb a tremendous amount of energy when they go from solid to liquid or liquid to gas. Looking at the this graph (Fig. 1), during phase change, energy storage is able to increase without the temperature going up, making this method highly efficient.
  • Thermo-chemical storage uses thermal energy “to drive a reversible endothermic chemical reaction, storing the energy as chemical potential.”

Pumped-storage

This method uses excess energy to pump water uphill and store it in tanks or reservoirs. When needed, it is released to turn turbines.

The National Hydropower Association claims “With an ability to respond almost instantaneously to changes in the amount of electricity running through the grid, pumped storage is an essential component of the nation’s electricity network.”

This method has already found many applications throughout the world, although it is not very efficient when compared to other methods. “…to get the amount of energy stored in a single AA battery, we would have to lift 100 kg (220 lb) 10 m (33 ft) to match it. To match the energy contained in a gallon of gasoline, we would have to lift 13 tons of water (3500 gallons) one kilometer high (3,280 feet).

100 Percent Renewables

A paper recently published in the journal Joule laid out the path for 139 countries to generate 100 percent of their energy from renewables by 2050. The authors make several important claims about their plan, such as avoiding three to five million deaths from air pollution, reducing the cost of global warming by around $28 trillion per year, and connecting four billion people to an adequate supply of electricity.

One of the central components is the ability to store renewable energy. If we are going to transition to 100 percent renewables, the above examples of game-changing energy storage need to become commercially viable.

Stock Media provided by derejeb / Pond5

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New papers on Moral Enhancement and Brain-Based Lie Detection

I have a couple of new papers available online. The first looks at the moral freedom objection to moral enhancement. The second tries to rebut an interesting philosophical objection to the use of brain-based lie detection. Both papers are set to appear in edited books in 2018. Details and links to pre-publication versions below (just click on the paper title):

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Scientists remove one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots

http://img.youtube.com/vi/1J47difr3oo/0.jpg

(L) The electrically actuated muscle with thin resistive wire in a rest position; (R) The muscle is expanded using only a low voltage (8V). (credit: Aslan Miriyev/Columbia Engineering)

Researchers at the Columbia Engineering Creative Machines lab have developed a 3D-printable, synthetic soft muscle that can mimic natural biological systems, lifting 1000 times its own weight. The artificial muscle is three times stronger than natural muscle and can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight — no external devices required.

Existing soft-actuator technologies are typically based on bulky pneumatic or hydraulic inflation of elastomer skins that expand when air or liquid is supplied to them, which require external compressors and pressure-regulating equipment.

“We’ve been making great strides toward making robots minds, but robot bodies are still primitive,” said Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering. “This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We’ve overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots.”

The research findings are described in an open-access study published Tuesday Sept. 19, 2017 by Nature Communications.

Replicating natural motion

Inspired by living organisms, soft-material robotics hold promise for areas where robots need to contact and interact with humans, such as manufacturing and healthcare. Unlike rigid robots, soft robots can replicate natural motion — grasping and manipulation — to provide medical and other types of assistance, perform delicate tasks, or pick up soft objects.

Structure and principle of operation of the soft composite material (stereoscope image scale bar is 1 mm). Upon heating the composite to a temperature of 78.4 °C, ethanol boils and the local pressure inside the micro-bubbles grows, forcing the elastic silicone elastomer matrix to comply by expansion in order to reduce the pressure. (credit: Aslan Miriyev et al./Nature Communications)

To achieve an actuator with high stress and high strain coupled with low density, the researchers used a silicone rubber matrix with ethanol (alcohol) distributed throughout in micro-bubbles. This design combines the elastic properties and extreme volume change attributes of other material systems while also being easy to fabricate, low cost, and made of environmentally safe materials.*

The researchers next plan to use conductive (heatable) materials to replace the embedded wire, accelerate the muscle’s response time, and increase its shelf life. Long-term, they plan to involve artificial intelligence to learn to control the muscle — perhaps a final milestone towards replicating natural human motion.

* After being 3D-printed into the desired shape, the artificial muscle was electrically actuated using a thin resistive wire and low-power (8V). It was tested in a variety of robotic applications, where it showed significant expansion-contraction ability and was capable of expansion up to 900% when electrically heated to 80°C. The new material has a strain density (the amount of deformation in the direction of an applied force without damage) that is 15 times larger than natural muscle.


Columbia Engineering | Soft Materials for Soft Actuators

Roboticists show off their new advances in “soft robots” (credit: Reuters TV)


Abstract of Soft material for soft actuators

Inspired by natural muscle, a key challenge in soft robotics is to develop self-contained electrically driven soft actuators with high strain density. Various characteristics of existing technologies, such as the high voltages required to trigger electroactive polymers ( > 1KV), low strain ( < 10%) of shape memory alloys and the need for external compressors and pressure-regulating components for hydraulic or pneumatic fluidicelastomer actuators, limit their practicality for untethered applications. Here we show a single self-contained soft robust composite material that combines the elastic properties of a polymeric matrix and the extreme volume change accompanying liquid–vapor transition. The material combines a high strain (up to 900%) and correspondingly high stress (up to 1.3 MPa) with low density (0.84 g cm−3). Along with its extremely low cost (about 3 cent per gram), simplicity of fabrication and environment-friendliness, these properties could enable new kinds of electrically driven entirely soft robots.

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Scientists remove one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots

http://img.youtube.com/vi/1J47difr3oo/0.jpg

(L) The electrically actuated muscle with thin resistive wire in a rest position; (R) The muscle is expanded using only a low voltage (8V). (credit: Aslan Miriyev/Columbia Engineering)

Researchers at the Columbia Engineering Creative Machines lab have developed a 3D-printable, synthetic soft muscle that can mimic natural biological systems, lifting 1000 times its own weight. The artificial muscle is three times stronger than natural muscle and can push, pull, bend, twist, and lift weight — no external devices required.

Existing soft-actuator technologies are typically based on bulky pneumatic or hydraulic inflation of elastomer skins that expand when air or liquid is supplied to them, which require external compressors and pressure-regulating equipment.

“We’ve been making great strides toward making robots minds, but robot bodies are still primitive,” said Hod Lipson, a professor of mechanical engineering. “This is a big piece of the puzzle and, like biology, the new actuator can be shaped and reshaped a thousand ways. We’ve overcome one of the final barriers to making lifelike robots.”

The research findings are described in an open-access study published Tuesday Sept. 19, 2017 by Nature Communications.

Replicating natural motion

Inspired by living organisms, soft-material robotics hold promise for areas where robots need to contact and interact with humans, such as manufacturing and healthcare. Unlike rigid robots, soft robots can replicate natural motion — grasping and manipulation — to provide medical and other types of assistance, perform delicate tasks, or pick up soft objects.

Structure and principle of operation of the soft composite material (stereoscope image scale bar is 1 mm). Upon heating the composite to a temperature of 78.4 °C, ethanol boils and the local pressure inside the micro-bubbles grows, forcing the elastic silicone elastomer matrix to comply by expansion in order to reduce the pressure. (credit: Aslan Miriyev et al./Nature Communications)

To achieve an actuator with high stress and high strain coupled with low density, the researchers used a silicone rubber matrix with ethanol (alcohol) distributed throughout in micro-bubbles. This design combines the elastic properties and extreme volume change attributes of other material systems while also being easy to fabricate, low cost, and made of environmentally safe materials.*

The researchers next plan to use conductive (heatable) materials to replace the embedded wire, accelerate the muscle’s response time, and increase its shelf life. Long-term, they plan to involve artificial intelligence to learn to control the muscle — perhaps a final milestone towards replicating natural human motion.

* After being 3D-printed into the desired shape, the artificial muscle was electrically actuated using a thin resistive wire and low-power (8V). It was tested in a variety of robotic applications, where it showed significant expansion-contraction ability and was capable of expansion up to 900% when electrically heated to 80°C. The new material has a strain density (the amount of deformation in the direction of an applied force without damage) that is 15 times larger than natural muscle.


Columbia Engineering | Soft Materials for Soft Actuators

Roboticists show off their new advances in “soft robots” (credit: Reuters TV)


Abstract of Soft material for soft actuators

Inspired by natural muscle, a key challenge in soft robotics is to develop self-contained electrically driven soft actuators with high strain density. Various characteristics of existing technologies, such as the high voltages required to trigger electroactive polymers ( > 1KV), low strain ( < 10%) of shape memory alloys and the need for external compressors and pressure-regulating components for hydraulic or pneumatic fluidicelastomer actuators, limit their practicality for untethered applications. Here we show a single self-contained soft robust composite material that combines the elastic properties of a polymeric matrix and the extreme volume change accompanying liquid–vapor transition. The material combines a high strain (up to 900%) and correspondingly high stress (up to 1.3 MPa) with low density (0.84 g cm−3). Along with its extremely low cost (about 3 cent per gram), simplicity of fabrication and environment-friendliness, these properties could enable new kinds of electrically driven entirely soft robots.

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This Radical New Method Regenerates Failing Lungs With Blood Vessels Intact

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Save for the occasional burning pain that accompanies a run, most people don’t pay much attention to the two-leafed organ puffing away in our chests.

But lungs are feats of engineering wonder: with over 40 types of cells embedded in a delicate but supple matrix, they continuously pump oxygen into the bloodstream over an area the size of a tennis field. Their exquisite tree-like structure optimizes gas exchange efficiency; unfortunately, it also makes engineering healthy replacement lungs a near-impossible task.

Rather than building lungs from scratch, scientists take a “replace and refresh approach”: they take a diseased lung, flush out its sickly, inflamed cells and reseed the empty matrix with healthy ones.

It’s an intricate procedure—nevertheless, the delicate branches of blood vessels are often completely destroyed during the process. Without blood to deliver nutrients and molecules to the newly seeded cells, the graft fails.

What if, thought Dr. Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic at Columbia University, rather than removing all cells from a donor lung, we gently clean out only the diseased cells in the airway without touching blood circulation?

This week, Vunjak-Novakovic’s team published a “radically new approach” to bioengineering lungs: making scaffolds with blood vessels intact.

When researchers added back therapeutic human cells that line the lung’s airways to a rat lung scaffold, the foreign cells—in this case, epithelium cells—homed to the correct location, attached, and thrived.

Because lung failure often stems from diseased epithelium cells, says study author Dr. N. Valerio Dorrello, this new method allows us to regenerate lungs by treating just the injured cells.

Dr. Matthew Bacchetta, who also worked on the project, sees the method as a “transformative” way to obtain lungs ready for transplant. Because lungs are notoriously bad at repairing themselves, in severe cases the only real option is a transplant.

injured-lung-epithelium-removal-vasculature-preservation-repopulation-therapeutic-cells
Image Credit: N. Valerio Dorrello and Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Columbia University

It’s a hard sell—only up to 20 percent of patients are still alive ten years later, the procedure is expensive, and the demand for donor lungs far exceeds the supply.

These new “vascularized” lungs bring us one step closer to the penultimate goal: transplanting lungs made from a patient’s own cells, seeded onto a donor scaffold from a cadaver or even primate or pig.

The patients’ cells give the scaffold a complete immune makeover, lowering the risk of immune rejection—a main reason why transplants fail.

“As a lung transplant surgeon, I am very excited about the great potential of our technique,” he says.

First Breath

Engineering functional lungs is nothing short of a moonshot, even in the ambitious field of regenerative medicine.

The lung is a real jungle: at the microscopic level, the tree-like airways contain alveoli, tiny bubble-like structures where the lungs exchange gas with our blood. Both arteries and veins enwrap the alveoli like two sets of mesh pockets.

At least a half dozen cellular denizens work in tandem to keep the alveoli spheres inflated, to guard the organ against infections, and to enforce the structure of its many branches.

This three-dimensional complexity is why we ruled out the possibility of growing lungs from scratch, explains Dr. Laura Niklason, a biomedical engineer at Yale University who was not involved in the new study.

Back in 2010, Niklason had a brilliant idea: rather than relying on synthetic templates that mimic the organ’s intricate structure—a “very tall order,” she says—scientists could use nature’s own template, the lung’s matrix, as a jumping off point.

Niklason’s approach is similar to stripping down a house to its bare bones—weight-bearing beams, struts and bolts—and reworking the rest to its new owner’s tastes.

As a proof-of-concept, Niklason’s team used a detergent that washed away the cells and blood vessels from a rat lung. They then soaked the lung matrix scaffold inside a “bioreactor” that mimics the conditions of a growing fetus.

When the team reseeded the scaffold with a cocktail of cells, the lung regrew its blood vessels, alveoli and tiny airways with the right types of cells—all within four days.

In the ultimate test of functionality, Niklason’s team transplanted the regrown lungs back into living rats. A few seconds later, the lung inflated, turning bright red as it took in oxygen and blood supply.

It’s just an initial step, the team wrote at the time. The lungs only survived up to two hours in the donor’s body, and subsequent analysis revealed bleeding and blood clots within the airway and regrown capillaries.

One potential reason is this: the blood vessels may not have formed proper junctions with the alveoli. While still allowing gas exchange, this eventually causes blood leaks into the lungs.

Breath of Fresh Air

If newly-grown blood vessels form malfunctioned junctions, why not preserve the originals instead?

That’s exactly what Vunjak-Novakovic’s team tackled in the new study published in Science Advances.

Adapting Niklason’s technique, the team inserted a tube into the airway of a newly harvested rat lung and pumped through a gentle detergent that only removed the lung’s epithelial cells—the inner lining.

Blood vessels, in contrast, were washed with an electrolyte solution similar to Gatorade.

With this small change, we removed over 70 percent of epithelial cells—which are often the root of lung diseases—but maintained the vasculature, the authors say.

Like cartographers mapping a new land, the team next probed the integrity of the vessels. Injecting tiny beads that glow under UV light into the lung’s main artery, they watched as the beads flooded the twisting capillaries, glowing bright within the larger vessels.

In contrast, there were no obvious signs of glowing beads within the airway or alveoli, suggesting that the blood vessels were intact—no leakage!

With scaffold in hand, the team next marinated the structure with human lung epithelium cells. As a bonus, they also used lung cells derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs are made from a patient’s own cells—often skin cells—and can be coaxed to become nearly any other cell type with the right cocktail of signals.

Because iPSCs retain the person’s immune profile, scaffolds seeded with these cells have a much lower chance of being rejected.

Within a mere 24 hours, the team detected signs of the newly seeded cells within the lung scaffolds. Under the microscope, the newcomers attached to the right spot, stabilized and begun rapidly dividing to repopulate the missing cells.

The lung grafts also had a boost in breathing power—they could expand more fully—gaining back roughly 50 percent of what was lost during the detergent treatment.

A Breath Away?

The study stops short at the final test: transplanting the engineered lung back into a recipient. As with older generation scaffolds, the newly minted lungs could also develop deadly blood clots or bleeding once reintroduced into a living, breathing animal.

What’s more, the team only used a mild detergent in their preparation to preserve the lung’s integrity. The result was a partial cleanout with some of the rats’ own epithelial cells still intact.

These injured stragglers may provide important information to the new, healthy cells, so this could be an unexpected bonus, the authors explain. Whether they are friend or foe will have to be tested in a future study.

The technology needs a lot more work before it could be used in humans, but Vunjak-Novakovic and colleagues are already excited about potential new treatment options.

This study provides proof-of-concept evidence that our approach works, the authors write. We show, for the first time, that it’s possible to wash out diseased lung epithelial cells without touching blood vessels.

What really gets the team excited is this: although freshly harvested rat lungs were used in this study, in theory the method could be used without removing the lung.

This is “transformative:” patients with injured lung epithelial cells could be irrigated with the detergent to remove the sickly cells. Doctors can then harvest their skin cells and transform them into healthy lung cells to reseed the lung.

“Every day, I see children in intensive care with severe lung disease who depend on mechanical ventilation support,” says Dorrello. We may be on our way to an entirely new treatment solution for these patients and regenerate their broken lungs, he says.

Image Credit: N. Valerio Dorrello and Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Columbia University

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