Watch This: Bioengineered Kidney Transplanted Into Rat

By Breanna Draxler | April 15, 2013 3:58 pm

Diagram from the paper, courtesy of Jeremy Song, et al., Nature Medicine

When a patient’s kidney stops functioning, the existing options are limited to transplant or continual dialysis. Now scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are a little closer to having a third option: transplanting kidneys that have been “upcycled” from previously unusable tissue.

To make these functioning and transplantable organs, the researchers begin with unusable donor organs. We’ll use the rat kidney in the film below as an example. Flushing the kidney of its natural cells leaves behind a structure of proteins, which the researchers repopulated with stem cells. In an oxygen- and nutrient-rich growth medium, these kidney and blood vessel cells multiplied and the regenerated rat organ eventually started to work like a normal organ.

“The tissue became functional,” said Harald Ott, one of the team’s researchers, in the film. “These kidneys began to make rudimentary urine.”

To further prove the effectiveness of the method, the researchers transplanted the bioengineered kidney into a live rat, where it continued to do its kidney job. The research paper, published in Nature Medicine yesterday, says the potential outcomes aren’t necessarily limited to animal test subjects.

“Ultimately this is a very translational kind of research,” Ott said. “It’s very much focused on driving this all the way down to the bedside, getting this to the patient.”

Watch the film below to find out more.

Video courtesy of Nature Medicine

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Health & Medicine, top posts
  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=845010098 facebook-845010098

    Dr. Ott is pretty amazing. I first found out about him from a PBS show on organ transplant a couple of years ago.

  • http://www.facebook.com/igor.rotaev Igor Rotaev

    My name is Igor, I’m from Western Europe.
    I am ready to donate a kidney or part of my liver for good compensation.
    I am a 30 year old man, blood group is O+, I don’t drink or smoke.
    I can travel anywhere worldwide to take tests to prove a good health and perform surgery. I will listen offer and conditions of recipient.
    E-mail me:
    igorrotaev@yahoo.com

  • Organ Donor

    I;m Male 32yrs from turkey, i am strong, healthy, non smoker, non alcoholic, no genetics problem,
    i am blood group O +VE, I want to donate my kidney to help any kidney related patients. who will as a return help me back by compensating me

    i got a deep financial mess which i need some money to resolve. any kind heated and serous kidney recipient should contact me

    yusufcam28@yahoo.com

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