|Constructing artificial airways in the laboratory
|Led by Graham Atherton
NB apologies for the poor quality of sound in this presentation – we have another faulty wire in our recording system.
Parul Chandorkar is Master of Science in Microbiology, Department of Internal Medicine VI, Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria currently visiting the National Aspergillosis Centre (NAC), Manchester, UK to gain some experience of the clinical diagnosis and treatment of aspergillosis.
Parul is studying for her PhD at the prestigious Medical University of Innsbruck by perfecting and refining a laboratory ‘model’ system which we will be able to use to study how Aspergillus spores are able to infect our airways. Her 3d system replicates the tissues and immune system present in our airways, amazingly reproducing how the hair-like cilia that line our airways rapidly beat to move mucus and all the spores that are stuck to the mucus up and out of our lungs. At the moment Parul is working with normal airway cells but of course once perfected she will be able to use cells from a patients with aspergillosis and investigate how we might be able to prevent or slow infection of those cells. Once we know how the cells and airways of an aspergillosis patient differ from people who do not get aspergillosis we may then start to work out how we could repair the damaged immune system. Fantastic work that also prevents us having to do animal work – all these cells come from human volunteers.
Graham Atherton then went on to talk about identifying gaps in aspergillosis patients & carer care across Europe and setting up a patient board to consider priorities for the European Lung Foundation. An informative paper written by another group of patient with rare illness who now run patient priorities projects with ELF is found here – this is what we aim to do for aspergillosis patients.