In lab, “bio-kidney” offers hope for renal patients

In lab, “bio-kidney” offers hope for renal patients

POSTED: 15 Apr 2013 9:29 AM
Researchers in the United States said they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure.

PARIS: Researchers in the United States on Sunday said they had bio-engineered a kidney and transplanted it into rats, marking a step forward in a quest to help patients suffering from kidney failure.

The prototype proves that a “bio-kidney” can work, emulating breakthroughs elsewhere to build replacement structures for livers, hearts and lungs, they said.

Described in the journal Nature Medicine, the work entailed taking a rat kidney and stripping out its living cells using a detergent solution, leaving behind a shell made of collagen.

The next step was to repopulate this empty structure with living cells, comprising human endothelial cells, which line the walls of blood vessels in the kidney, and kidney cells taken from newborn rats.

The trick was then to “seed” these cells in the correct part of the kidney, using a muscle duct called the ureter as a tube.The team transplanted the organ into living rats from which a kidney had been removed.

The new kidney started filtering blood and producing urine through the ureter as soon as the blood supply was restored, and there was no evidence of bleeding or clots.

Further work is needed to fine-tune the cell types to improve organ function, and many hurdles must be overcome before any tests on humans can go ahead, the scientists cautioned.

The researchers stripped cells from pig and human kidneys to test the first phase of the procedure on these organs, but have not taken this further for now.

Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Centre for Regenerative Medicine said the goal was to help the millions of people with kidney failure whose lives are crimped by dialysis.

“If this technology can be scaled to human-sized grafts, patients suffering from renal failure who are currently waiting for donor kidneys or who are not transplant candidates could theoretically receive new organs derived from their own cells” to prevent rejection by the immune system, he said.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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