NN&I (Nephrology News & Issues) Scientists make a step toward developing bioartificial kidney

Scientists make a step toward developing bioartificial kidney

Researchers have developed a key component needed to create a bioartificial kidney


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Scientists in the Netherlands have created a “living membrane” that consists of a tight kidney cell layer on artificial membrane surfaces and can transport molecules from one side to the other, which they said is needed to create a bioartificial kidney that could replace the need for dialysis or transplantation.

Dimitrios Stamatialis, PhD (University of Twente, in The Netherlands), Roos Masereeuw, PhD (University of Utrecht, in The Netherlands), and their teams achieved this using conditionally immortalized human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (ciPTECs) on polyethersulfone-based hollow fiber membranes. They demonstrated that the cell monolayer is functional as a living membrane. Their advances were presented at ASN Kidney Week 2016 November 15–20 in Chicago.

Read also: Is a backpack a better design for a wearable artificial kidney than a belt? 

“This study shows the successful development of a living membrane consisting of a reproducible ciPTEC monolayer on hollow fiber membranes, an important step towards the development of a bioartificial kidney device,” said Prof. Stamatialis. “The strategies and methods of this work could be relevant to the development of other bioartificial organs, such as a bioartificial liver or bioartificial pancreas, and organs on chips—such as a kidney on chip, a lung on chip, or a liver on chip.”

Study: “Development of a Bioartificial Kidney Device” (Abstract 23)

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It has been Nichole Jefferson‘s personal mission to tell her story and promote awareness. She was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in October 2003. At that time, not only was she unaware of what that meant; she also did not know she was a high-risk factor for developing the disease.
After the initial shock of the diagnosis, she decided peritoneal dialysis (PD) was the best option and utilized PD for a few years until she needed to switch to hemodialysis.
She received a kidney transplant from a deceased donor on June 12, 2008, but at the time, she didn’t realize it was simply another form of treatment and not a cure. Today, Nichole is waiting for a new transplant.
Nichole has worked with many advocacy groups on Capitol Hill and has provided her personal experience with ESRD to leaders in the field of nephrology. She tries to express the feelings of those who are unable or unwilling to speak for themselves.