Dutch researchers Dimitrios Stamatialis of the University of Twente, Roos Masereeuw from the University of Utrecht, and their teams have successfully engineered a key requirement for a functional bioartificial kidney.
[T]he researchers managed to form a “living membrane” consisting of a tight kidney cell layer on artificial membrane surfaces. They were able to demonstrate that the cell monolayer is indeed a functional one, as it can transport molecules from one side to the other.
“[This is] an important step towards the development of a bioartificial kidney device,” according to Stamatialis. “The strategies and methods of this work could be relevant to the development of other bioartificial organs, such as a bioartificial liver or bioartificial pancreas….”
A functional bioartificial kidney could make dialysis or transplantation unnecessary for the millions of patients suffering from renal failure…Although synthetic, its components are still largely based on biological materials, as described above. This is what’s wonderful about developing synthetic organs for treatment purposes — they can work seamlessly with organic systems already in place.
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