Only one in five donated lungs are good enough to be transplanted safely.
A trial, being led by Newcastle University, is trying to improve the quality of the lungs by pumping nutrients and oxygen through them.
The British Transplantation Society said the technique could "dramatically" increase the number of lungs used.
Around a quarter of people waiting for an organ transplant die in the first year on a transplant list.
The lungs are delicate organs and the events which lead to a donor's death can also damage the lungs. It is why so few can be transplanted.Spruce up
Doctors are using a modified heart-lung bypass machine to prepare the organs. Air is pumped into the lungs, which can absorb oxygen, while nutrients are pumped through the blood vessels.
The technique called "ex-vivo lung perfusion" can clear a build-up of water on the lungs or can treat them with medication to clear infection.
Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-18250455