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© ERS 2020. Ethical and practical reasons often restrict the use of human cells and tissues in pre-clinical studies; therefore, investigators employ research laboratory models. In vitro and in vivo models are essential and indispensable for the study of pleural diseases as they provide a simplified network of the human biology and can also replicate features of the human condition. Despite their simplicity, laboratory models provide major contributions towards our understanding of pleural diseases and have led to the discovery of perturbated molecular pathways and mechanisms. There are various available in vitro and in vivo models of pleural disease, each with their own strengths and limitations. Therefore, experimental assays have to be carefully designed and implemented to avoid data misinterpretation. Technological advances have improved the efficiency and potency of laboratory models and have introduced new research techniques. Thus, in vitro and in vivo models provide an effective pre-clinical research tool to elucidate pleural disease pathogenesis and progression.

Original publication




Journal article


ERS Monograph

Publication Date





29 - 47