Our recent publication in Nature Medicine titled “Regeneration and experimental orthotopic transplantation of a bioengineered kidney” can be found here.
Currently, approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States await kidney transplantation, and 400,000 individuals live with end-stage kidney disease requiring hemodialysis. The creation of a transplantable, bioengineered kidney that can permanently replace kidney function would address this severe organ shortage and, at the same time, allow recipients to avoid the morbidity associated with immunosuppression. Such a bioengineered kidney must have all the components of a natural kidney’s architecture and function, allowing perfusion, filtration, secretion, absorption, and drainage of urine. In this project we decellularize rat, porcine, and human kidneys by detergent perfusion, yielding acellular scaffolds with vascular, cortical and medullary architecture, collecting system and ureters. To regenerate tissue with filtration and reabsorption function, we then seed the resulting kidney scaffolds with endothelial and epithelial cells, then perfuse these cell-seeded constructs in a whole organ bioreactor. By day 6, the resulting kidney constructs produce rudimentary urine in vitro when perfused via their intrinsic vascular bed. To test in vivo compatibility, we transplant these bioengineered kidneys in several different animal models.