Scientists are developing a portable lung which could help people with breathing problems lead a normal life.
Swansea University scientists say their device, which oxygenates blood outside the body before it goes through the lungs, could be an alternative to transplants, giving hope to those who suffer from conditions such as emphysema and cystic fibrosis.
AdvertisementProfessor Bill Johns came up with the idea after his son died of Cystic Fibrosis.
"It is important that we make something that will help people, who instead of being confined to a wheelchair with an oxygen bottle, can actually walk around and do things for themselves," the BBC quoted him, as saying.
Although the research has been welcomed by leading charities, caution has also been voiced over the length of time it will take before a portable lung will become available.
Chris Mulholland, head of the British Lung Foundation, said: "We have to stress that this is several years away from being used, even in a trial stage. While we welcome the advances, we have to be realistic and know that one in five people could do with that help now."