Tagged: Infectious Disease
Stephen Riffle 11/01/2022 at 1:08 pm
November 16, 2022 is COPD World Day. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe – is the third leading cause of death worldwide, causing 3.23 million deaths in 2019. It includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis and most often results from smoking, long-term exposure to second-hand smoke or air pollution, or working with chemicals, dust and fumes. People living with COPD may experience a chronic cough, shortness of breath and frequent respiratory infections.
As a chronic, underlying condition, COPD puts people at greater risk of getting sick from COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Scarring and other permanent damage to the lung may result, and shortness of breath may persist, especially in COVID long haulers. A recent study in the International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease found COVID-19 was twice as likely to be fatal for people with COPD than for those without.
With winter fast approaching and experts, such as Dr. Anthony Fauci, concerned about the possible emergence of even more dangerous and different variants, using organ-chip technology to study how the SARS-CoV-2 virus interacts with lung cells is becoming increasingly important.
Currently, some lung researchers are using a broad range of models and technology to study COPD, including cell-culture and mouse models, as well as CT and MRI imaging to study cellular and molecular markers of inflammation and injury. Others are using Lung-Chips, a more human-relevant model, to assess immune response in the lung.
Since Lung-Chip models recreate key aspects of pulmonary physiology by incorporating multiple primary cell types in distinct epithelial and vascular channels in a lung-specific dynamic microenvironment which can mimic tissue-to-tissue interactions, extracellular matrix, immune cell components and mechanical forces, they are ideal for studies looking at viral infection and pathogenesis and efficacy testing.
With COPD Awareness Month in November, now is a good time to explore how we as a community are studying COPD and lung-diseases in general.
What research models are you using, and what models do you think we need to develop in order to advance our understanding of respiratory diseases like COPD?
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