Friday, October 9, 2015
Stem Cells Grow Mini-Kidney
Scientists have coaxed human stem cells to grow different structures found inside working kidneys. The advance is being called an important step toward the goal of growing functional organs from patients’ stem cells once their own kidneys fail.
A research team in Australia and The Netherlands reports that they were able to grow tiny kidney-like organoids with a complex of different kidney cell types. Over the course of 20 days, the cultured cells differentiated and grew into an organoid containing 500 kidney cells known as nephrons.
That substantial number is equal to the state of a more than 14 day-old mouse embryo’s kidney, write Minoru Takasato and colleagues. Comparing the engineered tissue to normal human development, they found its gene expression most closely resembled that of a first-trimester fetal kidney.
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