Lung Cell Culture Models


At MatTek, we are focused on reducing the use of animal models in research and providing highly relevant in vitro models that better mimic the native human in vivo environment. For decades, we have been at the forefront of this field and have developed several advanced cell culture models for modeling the respiratory tract such as EpiAlveolar™EpiAirway™, and EpiNasal™ which are able to effectively model the human airway and the air-blood barrier function of the lung.

Within the body, the lung serves the critical function of exchanging carbon dioxide with the environment, taking in oxygen as a powerful electron transporter for aerobic respiration. From a modeling perspective, the lung is an extremely complex tissue to mimic as it serves such a critical function while having a highly plastic and complex architecture that is in direct contact with the external environment. Because of this complexity, many researchers have relied heavily upon animal models to mimic the lung and to execute drug discovery and development efforts as well as basic and translational research.

EpiAirway for Modeling the Human Airway In Vitro

EpiAirway is a ready-to-use, 3D mucociliary tissue model consisting of normal, human-derived tracheal and bronchial epithelial cells also available as a co-culture system with normal human stromal fibroblasts (EpiAirwayFT). Cultured at the air-liquid interface (ALI), EpiAirway recapitulates the in vivo phenotypes of barrier, mucociliary responses, infection, toxicity responses and disease. With over 100 technical references available, EpiAirway is amenable to acute or long-term chronic studies across a wide range of highly predictive in vitro applications.

EpiAirway exhibits human relevant tissue structure and cellular morphology with high uniformity and reproducibility. Its 3D structure consists of organized Keratin 5+ basal cells, mucus producing goblet cells, functional tight junctions and beating cilia. EpiAirwayFT incorporates human fibroblasts in an extracellular stromal matrix ideal for inflammation and fibrosis research.

EpiAlveolar for Modeling the Air-Blood Barrier Within the Lung

EpiAlveolar is a 3D co-culture model of the air-blood barrier. Produced from primary human alveolar epithelial cells, pulmonary endothelial cells and fibroblasts, EpiAlveolar is an in vitro model system developed to mimic human-relevant biological responses. The model is commonly used by researchers to study the following:

  • Toxicology and inhaled product safety assessment studies
  • Host-pathogen interaction studies and antiviral therapeutic screening
  • Drug delivery and drug development research
  • Disease modeling (e.g., lung fibrosis and fibrotic potential)



Custom Airway Tissue Models

MatTek is very flexible in providing custom models for its customers. The EpiAirway model has 30+ donors available which include asthma, COPD and smoker profiles to address various research questions.