Can a kidney be recreated in a laboratory and then implanted? That is the "procedure still in its infancy" attempted by researchers in Massachusetts. Their idea consisted of "removing from the organs of deceased animals all the cells, leaving only the general structure, and then reseeding the empty shell with cells from the future transplant receiver." After succeeding in removing the cells from a rat’s heart in 2008 and then "seeding it with heart cells from newborn rats," followed by an experiment in 2010 with lungs, Professor Harald Ott’s team wish to apply the same method to the kidneys of rats. The results of this experiment were published on 14 April 2013 in the journal Nature.
While the kidney obtained is not perfectly functional, the biologists still hoped to "pronounce soon on its viability when connected to a living organism." So they grafted it for two hours to a laboratory rat: "no coagulation began – the formation of a blood clot is one of the first signs of dysfunction to be expected."
The researchers say that the goal of this experiment is to "validate the theoretical principle of the use of organs for the production of transplantable organs" and "very many technical and biological difficulties still have to be overcome."