Study Offers a Promising Renal Failure Treatment in Lab-grown Kidneys

Thousands of Americans opt for dialysis instead of kidney transplant every year because of a shortage in donor kidneys, nephrology experts say, highlighting a new, promising kidney treatment through functional laboratory-made kidneys transplanted into rats. It is, in fact, considered a major breakthrough that may one day pave the way for a new treatment option for kidney failure patients who may have been relying on dialysis treatment for many years, which may also possibly reduce the use of dialysis drug treatments and related GranuFlo and NaturaLyte potentially life-threatening adverse effects.

The recent study, which was published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Medicine, was reportedly conducted by expert researchers from the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in the US, funded by US National Institutes of Health and the research team’s department, according to online news reports. Spearheaded by organ-regeneration specialist Harald Ott, the research team reportedly reanimated a functional kidney by washing away native cells from a rat’s kidney using a detergent solution, leaving behind a natural scaffold of structural proteins that may be “reseeded” with new stem cells. Experts note that a similar experimental technique has also been previously applied to other organs including the lungs, livers, and hearts.

After removing the native kidney and being transplanted into a living laboratory rat model, the bioengineered kidney reportedly started filtering the model’s blood producing rudimentary urine. Despite the recent landmark achievement, reports say that the researchers acknowledged certain hurdles that may entail the process of reanimating fully functional kidneys for people.

Statistics from the National Kidney Foundation shows that there currently more than 95,000 people awaiting kidney transplants and nearly 3,000 patients are added to the kidney waiting list each month. This major breakthrough, when successful, may potentially bridge the gap between kidney patients who may have been waiting in line for a kidney transplant and inexhaustible supply of donor kidneys, also possibly reducing the risk of potential adverse effects from certain medications used in dialysis treatments. Comprehensive information about the potential dangers linked to dialysis drug treatments may also be found at the Dialysis Injury Helpline.

Sources:

  • nytimes.com/2013/04/15/science/rat-kidneys-made-in-lab-seen-as-step-to-human-transplants.html?_r=0
  • nhs.uk/news/2013/04April/Pages/Lab-grown-rat-kidney-successfully-transplanted.aspx
  • kidney.org/news/newsroom/factsheets/Organ-Donation-and-Transplantation-Stats.cfm
Posted in Health Updates | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment