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Scienstist get closer to developing bioartificial kidney

The world is one important step closer to creating a functional bioartificial kidney.

This is due to research of, among others Dimitrios Stamatialis of the University of Twente. Scientists form the Netherlands this weekend presented their research results at ASN Kidney, the largest nephrology meeting of its kind.  

A bioartificial kidney could replace the need for dialysis or transplantation in the millions of patients with kidney failure. A key requirement for such a device is the formation of a ‘living membrane’, consisting of a tight kidney cell layer on artificial membrane surfaces, that can transport molecules from one side to the other. In their latest work, Dimitrios Stamatialis, PhD (University of Twente), Roos Masereeuw, PhD (University of Utrecht) and their teams achieved this using a conditionally immortalized human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (ciPTECs) on apolyethersulfone-based hollow fiber membranes. They demonstrated that the cell monolayer is indeed functional as a ‘living membrane’. 

Successful development

“This study shows the successful development of a living membrane consisting of a reproducible ciPTEC monolayer on hollow fiber membranes, an important step towards the development of a bioartificial kidney device,” said Prof. Stamatialis. “The strategies and methods of this work could be relevant to the development of other bioartificial organs, such as a bioartifiicial liver or bioartificial pancreas, and organs on chips—such as a kidney on chip, a lung on chip, or a liver on chip”, according to Stamatialis. Dimitrios Stamatialis Stamatialis works as a professor at the department of Biomaterials Science and Technology at the MIRA-institute at the University of Twente. Stamatialis works on improved therapies in order to remove a broader range of toxins from the blood. The goal is to improve dialysis techniques, possibly leading to the development of a portable kidney, or even an implantable artificial kidney.