Researchers in Cleveland have built an artificial lung that is so efficient it can breathe regular air rather than the pure oxygen required by current artificial lungs. The technology makes possible the idea of a man-made lung that is far more portable--and possibly implantable--for the nearly 200 million people suffering from some degree of lung disease.
In the U.S., people needing a new lung wait more than a year on average for an organ. That's often too long—237 people on the transplant list died in 2009. Recent advances in cell regeneration, however, could someday allow a patient to "donate" a healthy lung to himself in just a month.