Mucus breakthrough could help patients breathe easy

New insights into the molecular mechanisms driving mucus viscosity were have been discovered. A discovery about how mucus thickness is regulated could help to improve airway-clearing treatment options for people with chronic respiratory conditions such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Source

COPD as a lung stem cell disease

Two stem cell researchers have found an abundance of abnormal stem cells in the lungs of patients who suffer from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), a leading cause of death worldwide. The team, who used single cell cloning of lung stem cells to make their discovery, is now targeting the cells for new therapeutics. Source

New hope for COPD patients possible with in-home device

Researchers describe the benefits of in-home noninvasive ventilation therapy, which includes a type referred to as bilevel positive airway pressure, or BiPAP — for many patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The team identified a number of benefits, including reduced mortality, fewer hospital admissions, lower risk of intubation, improved shortness of breath, and fewer emergency department visits. Source

Crimped or straight? Lung fiber shape influences elasticity

Stiff collagen and stretchy elastin fibers packed together in rows allow the respiratory system to stretch and snap back into shape. Scientists previously thought these fibers govern the mechanics of the airways due to their composition. New research has instead observed that differences in the shape and form of tissue fibers influence respiratory elasticity. These findings will help scientists better understand lung diseases, from chronic diseases like COPD to the lung ailment associated with vaping. Source