In a world first, a team of scientists at the Universities of Okayama and Kyorin have succeeded in recreating a nephron (the structural and functional unit of a kidney) in vitro, triggering urine formation using iPS technology.
The cells were initially collected from a rat kidney. Using iPS technology, the team created stem cells and “injected them into a three-dimensional culture medium with several growth factors. After three weeks, the cells had followed several differentiation pathways in an organised manner to form the majority of structures” in the nephron. Finally, the nephron possessed several characteristics, particularly the ability to produce urine.
In terms of tissue engineering, this advance “could eventually lead to new regenerative medical treatments for patients suffering from kidney failure“.
BE Japon 709 05/12/2014