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Study suggests new source of kidneys for transplant
Date:5/20/2013

ion, these kidneys maintain their innate three-dimensional architecture, their basic biochemistry, as well as their vessel network system. When we tested their ability to be transplanted (in pigs), these kidneys were able to maintain blood pressure, suggesting a functional and resilient vasculature."

While the project is in its infancy, the idea represents a potential solution to the extreme shortage of donor kidneys. According to the authors, the probability in the U.S. of receiving a kidney transplant within five years of being added to the waiting list is less than 35 percent, and people age 60 or older who are placed on the waiting list only have a 50 percent chance of ever receiving a kidney.

The science of regenerative medicine has already had success in engineering skin, cartilage, bladders, urine tubes, trachea and blood vessels in the lab that were successfully implanted in patients. Most of these structures were able to receive oxygen and nutrients from nearby tissues until they developed their own blood vessel supply. However, more complex organs such as the kidney, liver, heart and pancreas are larger with dense cellular networks and must have their own oxygen supply to survive. The need for a blood supply is why scientists are exploring the possibility of using donor organs and "seeding" them with a patient's own cells.

As the research continues, the scientists will need to assess whether discarded organs with certain defects can be used to benefit patients. For example, some kidneys are rejected because of fibrosis (scarring) in the tiny vessels throughout the organ. Can these organs be recycled? Orlando said that time will tell but that early clinical data suggests that fibrotic lesions are reversible and that the human body has the ability to remodel kidney fibrosis and restore normal anatomy.


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Contact: Karen Richardson
krchrdsn@wakehealth.edu
336-716-4453
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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