Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Lung Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Bronchoalveolar Lavage as Biomarkers of Lung Diseases

Technology #4379

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Vibha N. Lama
Managed By
Ed Pagani
Associate Director, Health Technologies 734-763-3558
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending
Lung Resident Mesenchymal Stem Cells in Bronchoalveolar Lavage – A Novel Marker of Immune-Mediated Injury in Human Lung Transplant Recipients
J Heart Lung Transplant, Volume 28. Page S115. 2009


Lung transplantation is an accepted modality of treatment for advanced stage lung disease. However, while transplantation is an appropriate lifesaving measure for some patients, the long-term survival statistics for transplant recipients pose a sobering burden. A major cause of transplant rejection is bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), a lung disease characterized by fixed airway obstruction, with incidence of 51 % by 5.6 years post-transplant. Treatment options for BOS are extremely limited, and BOS is the most common indication for re-transplantation, accounting for 52% of all re-transplantation cases. Modest success has been reported for treatment of early-stage BOS with azithromycin. However, there is a dearth of reliable diagnostic tests capable of detecting early-stage BOS.


University of Michigan researchers have identified biomarker of immune injury and predictor of BOS development. Through analysis of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of lung transplant recipients, the number of lung- resident mesenchymal stem cells was found to be a significant predictor of BOS onset. Taken together, predictor of BOS development may lead to treatment approaches to minimize lung transplant rejection and rates for re-transplantation.

Applications and Advantages


  • Diagnostic for lung transplant rejection


  • Earlier detection of BOS may lead to prophylactic interventions for lung transplant rejection