Scientists Grow Mini Kidney from Stem Cells

By: | January 21st, 2014

Millions of people around the world have some form of chronic kidney disease, showing the need for urgent medical treatment. But instead of waiting for a donor kidney for years, patients in need of a kidney transplant may finally be able to have a new kidney custom-grown for them.

The scientists from University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience have made a remarkable breakthrough in the field of organ transplants. They have grown the world’s first kidney from stem cells.

Researchers manipulated the stem cells in an order that they began to “self-organize”, arranging themselves into a miniature kidney. This functioning “mini-kidney” has a width of only a few millimeters. This mini organ is known as an organoid.

The research is indeed promising and the scientists predict the stem cell kidneys could be used to make human kidneys in the future after finding the way to increase its size. To avoid the problems with transplant rejection, they are studying the idea of taking skin cells from a patient, using them to grow a kidney and then implanting it into the same patient.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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