In a major breakthrough, researchers are one step closer to growing functional kidneys from human stem cells with the potential of eliminating the need for donated kidney transplants. The collaborative effort by the researchers at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne and Leiden University Medical Center has made progress in vascularizing a lab grown kidney organoid. Kidney tissue has been successfully grown in a lab - with all requisite cell types. However, vascularizing the tissue (allowing for blood flow) has proved difficult. This breakthrough research effort has overcome this obstacle to kidney replacement. In an animal model, researchers implanted the human stem cell-derived organoid into healthy kidney tissue, with the organoid maturing and vascularizing into fully fledged kidney tissue in vivo in 4 weeks.
The research advances the process for growing human organs, potentially eliminating organ shortages and the exacerbating wait times for people requiring transplants. Using autologous [the patient’s own] stem cells, these organs would also eliminate the risk of rejection, given that the body would recognize the organ’s cells as its own. With over 3,000 new patients added to the waitlist for kidneys every day, this research could bring lifesaving organs to hundreds of thousands of patients across the world.
This innovative research demonstrates the integral role stem cells are playing in cutting edge medical care options. By banking their own valuable stem cells, families can ensure that they will have access to these emerging therapies in the near future. To learn more about banking stem cells, please visit StemSave or call 877-783- 6728 (877-StemSave) today
The Future of Regenerative Medicine is Now
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