Functioning Mini Kidney for Humans Successfully Grown in a Lab using Stem Cells

Kidney diseases have been cropping up for the last 30 years, and a lot of sufferers are not able to gain access to kidney replacement due to the lack of living donors. In the United Kingdom alone, there are 250 people in need of kidney who die each year, which means that there is almost one each day. In the present time, a kidney transplant is still the best treatment option for people with kidney disease, but the waiting list is too long. And most people can only wait for the average of three years.  But with the aid of stem cells and technology, there is now a way to avoid dialysis and to regain health and independence. The latest discoveries of regenerative medicine, in the line of stem cells, is proving fruitful.

Woman holding model human kidney halves at white body. This artificial model of a kidney organ is used on high school for education. School children learn in biology class about the human body and the function of various organs. The kidney is important for blood purification in the body.

A new set of functional mini kidneys that is capable of filtering blood to produce urine is one of the major steps in the medical field this year. A team of researchers was able to develop human stem cells into a mini kidney, and this one is much more progressive than the previously tested samples. This mini kidney cultivated with the help of stem cells is now complete with functioning human blood vessels and could filter the blood of its mouse host. The team coming from Manchester University was able to create these advances by doing the final stages of the kidney growth using a mouse subject, rather than using a petri dish.

Currently, the team of researchers from Manchester is now growing on working nephrons, a drooping branch-like structure in the kidney that filters blood at one end and releases the collected waste at the other. While it’s not yet equivalent to a human kidney because of the limited nephrons, it already has the elements of blood flow in, up to the exit at the ureter, which is responsible for taking the urine away. Medical experts and researchers are extremely excited with this discovery, it is a big milestone for kidney patients. These findings greatly advance stem cells for kidney repair research, all that has to be done now is to make sure that it survives and develops further. These findings can be used to grow whole organs that can be used for transplantation.

Stem cells are used in the process to lower the rejection rate of the body to newly transplanted organs. Stem cells have the ability to be reprogrammed which is why it is the ideal method to use. Stem cell clinics in California like the Feeling Good At Any Age- The One Stop Rejuvenation Center is finding ways to improve stem cell therapy as a whole, the CEO Lourdes Duque Baron together with medical experts are also finding ways to reduce the cost of producing enough cells for major health problems like this one.

Sources: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/human-kidney-grown-mouse-stem-cells-urine-medical-first-scientists-functioning-tissue-cells-a8202856.html

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/in-theory/wp/2015/12/31/will-lab-grown-kidneys-fix-our-transplant-waiting-lists/?utm_term=.7301f5af6b76

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