Several bronchoscopic lung volume reduction (BLVR) treatments have been developed to reduce hyperinflation in emphysema patients. Lung bio-adhesives are among the most promising new BLVR treatment options, as they potentially provide a permanent solution for emphysematous patients after only a single application. To date, bio-adhesives have mainly been used as haemostats and tissue sealants, while their application in permanently contracting and sealing hyperinflated lung tissue has recently been identified as a novel and enticing opportunity. However, a major drawback of the current adhesive technology is the induction of severe inflammatory responses and adverse events upon administration. In our review, we distinguish between and discuss various natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic tissue haemostats and sealants that have been used for pulmonary applications such as sealing air/fluid leaks. Furthermore, we present an overview of the different materials including AeriSeal and autologous blood that have been used to achieve lung volume reduction and discuss their respective advantages and drawbacks. In conclusion, we describe the key biological (therapeutic benefit and biocompatibility) and biomechanical (degradability, adhesive strength, stiffness, viscoelasticity, tunability and self-healing capacity) characteristics that are essential for an ideal lung bio-adhesive material with the potential to overcome the concerns related to current adhesives.