Following a research initiative, the use of cutting-edge technologies paves way for new line of treatment for kidney failure. And, also possibly lab-grown transplants. The research involved use of cutting-edge technology for bioprinting human kidneys, miniature ones, in the lab.
The study is published in Nature Materials. During the course of the study, the research team validates the use of 3-D bioprinted human mini kidneys for examining toxicity of a class of drugs. This drug class is known to cause kidney damage in people.
Meanwhile, the research displayed how 3-D bioprinting of stem cells works for kidney transplants. The research showed how the technique produced large enough sheets of kidney tissue required for transplants.
In fact, extrusion-based 3D bioprinting is analogous to squeezing toothpaste out of a tube. The technique uses bionic composed of a stem cell paste, wherein the paste is squeezed out through a computer-driven pipette to generate artificial living tissue in a dish.
New method reliable over earlier similar initiative in 2015
Earlier, in 2015, a researcher at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, who is a world leader in modeling of human kidney, first began growing kidney organoids. However, the new method of bioprinting is more reliable, faster, and allows the whole process to be scaled up. Using 3D bioprinting, in 10 minutes, 200 mini kidneys could be created without compromising on quality.
Meanwhile, bioprinted mini-kidneys are larger than a grain of rice to the size of a fingernail, and fully resemble regular-sized kidney. These bioprinted mini-kidneys include tiny tubes and blood vessels that make the filtering structures called nephrons of the kidney.
“The use of mini-organs hopes to screen drugs to find new treatments for kidney diseases,” said the lead researcher.