Humble lizards offer surprising approach to engineering artificial lungs


Grantee News
December 27, 2021

A new study shows how the brown anole lizard solves one of nature's most complex problems -- breathing -- with ultimate simplicity. Whereas human lungs develop over months and years into baroque tree-like structures, the anole lung develops in just a few days into crude lobes covered with bulbous protuberances. These gourd-like structures, while far less refined, allow the lizard to exchange oxygen for waste gases just as human lungs do. And because they grow quickly by leveraging simple mechanical processes, anole lungs provide new inspiration for engineers designing advanced biotechnologies. Read more from Princeton University.