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A Closer Step to Engineer New Kidney Tissues

2012-10-23 08:51

The number of end-stage kidney disease (ESRD) patients that require a kidney transplant has been rising in recent years, however, sources of kidneys are in relative shortage which means many people may not get their turn. In a latest study, researchers made a step further in approaching the goal of engineering new kidney tissues, and the breakthrough they have made could lead to more options for individuals with kidney failure. Their finding was published on Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN) study.

Investigators can produce tissues similar to immature kidneys from simple suspensions of embryonic kidney cells, but have not successful enough at growing more mature kidney tissues in labs because complicated kidney forms can not form without support of blood vessels.

In their research, from suspensions of single kidney cells, Christodoulos Xinaris PhD and his colleges had for the first time constructed “organoids” that can be integrated into a living animal and carry out kidney filtering and reabsorption functions. The organoids continued to mature and were viable for four weeks after implantation.

This research, making it possible to build functional renal tissues starting from suspensions of single cells, made a stop forward toward practical target of entering renal tissues suitable for transplant. The methods employed in the experiment offers a basis for a number of further investigative and therapeutic applications.

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