Bioengineered kidneys at work in rats

Holly Fischer [creativecommons license] via Wikimedia Commons

Kidney failure affects nearly 1 million people in the US. Without treatment, it results in the retention of excess water and waste products in the body. Renal failure can be reversed by transplanting kidneys from matched donors, but the supply of donated kidneys is insufficient to meet demand, and ~20% of transplants undergo organ rejection within 5 years. Bioengineered artificial kidneys, created from patients’ own cells, that act as permanent transplants could provide an alternative treatment for patients with renal failure. To be viable, the bioengineered organs must recapitulate both the architecture and the functions of the kidney, including perfusion, filtration, secretion, absorption and drainage of urine. Scientists led by Harald C. Ott (Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston) now report for the first time the successful creation, transplantation and function of artificial kidneys in rats.

Lab Anim. (NY) 42, 185 (2013).
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