Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Induction, Growth and Expansion of Multipotent Lung Progenitors from Human And Mouse Tissue

Technology #7459

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Jason Spence
Managed By
Stefan Koehler
Senior Licensing Specialist, Health Technologies 734-764-4290
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending

To study human diseases in vitro, new tools have been developed known as organoids. These organoids are 3D-cultures of specialized cells that functionally mimic tissues in humans. One new organoid model that has been researched is the human lung organoid (HLO). These cells are often cultured utilizing mouse embryonic stem cells that have been induced to form lung progenitor cells. Human pluripotent stem cells have also been used by have been unable to form the correct branching patterns that are seen in human fetal tissue. Another downfall of current advances of the HLO is that the longest they’ve been able to be maintained is 96 hours.

Induction, Growth, and Expansion of Multipotent Lung Progenitors from Human and Mouse Tissue

To overcome the current drawbacks of HLOs, a novel method that includes precise composition and concentration of particular growth factors has been made. This method allows for the induction of not only mouse embryonic stem cells but human pluripotent stem cells as well. The produced cells have the correct branching pattern and lung markers as human lung tissue. Additionally, these methods allow for long-term maintenance of the cells. Mouse lung progenitor cells induced using the combination of media and methods can be maintained for two weeks while human lung progenitor cells can be maintained for six weeks. This novel technology can allow for more accurate modeling of the human lung using actual human cells rather than just mouse cells, to further research of lung disease and therapies.


  • Human lung organoid
  • Used for drug screening
  • Model human diseases


  • Grows longer
  • Mouse or human cells can be used