Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive multi-organ disease caused by mutations in the CF Transmembrane Conductance Regulator
) gene, with morbidity and mortality primacy related to the lung disease. The CFTR protein, a chloride/bicarbonate channel, is expressed at the apical side of airway epithelial cells and is mainly involved in appropriate ion and fluid transport across the epithelium. Although many animal and cellular models have been developed to study the pathophysiological consequences of the lack/dysfunction of CFTR, only the three-dimensional (3D) structures termed “spheroids” and “organoids” can enable the reconstruction of airway mucosa to model organ development, disease pathophysiology, and drug screening. Airway spheroids and organoids can be derived from different sources, including adult lungs and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), each with its advantages and limits. Here, we review the major features of airway spheroids and organoids, anticipating that their potential in the CF field has not been fully shown. Further work is mandatory to understand whether they can accomplish better outcomes than other culture conditions of airway epithelial cells for CF personalized therapies and tissue engineering aims.
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