New cutting-edge technology has been used to bioprint miniature human kidneys in the lab. The team, which comprises of researchers from the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (Parkville, Australia) and Organovo (CA, USA), hope that these mini kidneys can be used for the treatment of kidney failure and possibly lab-grown transplant tissues.
Their research, which has been published in Nature Materials, validated the mini kidneys by toxicity screening of aminoglycosides – a class of antibiotics known to cause kidney damage in people. The research also demonstrated how 3D bioprinting of stem cells could produce large enough sheets of kidney tissue that were suitable for transplants.
“By generating stem cells from a patient with a genetic kidney disease, and then growing mini kidneys from them, also paves the way for tailoring treatment plans specific to each patient, which could be extended to a range of kidney diseases,” explained corresponding author of the study, Melissa Little (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute).
The researchers hope that their findings could lead to further developments in the field of bioengineering renal tissues. However, the team cautioned that more research is required to bring this concept into the clinic.
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