Millions of people around the world are affected by chronic kidney disease (CKD). Over 2 million people worldwide currently receive treatment with dialysis or a kidney transplant to stay alive. But millions of people on waiting lists die each year without ever receiving a transplant.
In the United States alone, more than 100,000 patients are waiting for a kidney transplant, and more than 550,000 patients are dependent on dialysis for survival as of 2021.
Now, a team of researchers has developed a breakthrough technology that could provide novel ways to treat chronic kidney disease. The functional kidney tissue developed by researchers is a combination of 3D bioprinting and stem cell-based tissue engineering.
The technology was developed at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), and Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Harvard University has licensed the technology to Trestle Biotherapeutics, a private company based in San Diego. Trestle is developing an implantable therapeutic tissue that will be surgically delivered to kidney failure patients.
However, upon implantation, this tissue will supplement the patient’s renal function and improve their disease status by eliminating the dependency on dialysis.
This novel treatment has the potential to get the patients off dialysis, save their lives, and also make a significant impact on them and their families.