Challenges to future regenerative applications using kidney organoids
The human kidney is the organ responsible for blood filtration, regulation of pH, electrolytes, fluid balance and blood pressure. The organ is constituted of up to two million nephrons, which form the functional units of the kidney. As there are no tissue stem cells in the adult kidney, nephrons cannot spontaneously regenerate once lost or damaged. Diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, certain autoimmune and genetically inherited diseases can lead to irreversible progression of kidney damage. Globally, there is a continuous 6% rise in end-stage renal disease per annum versus an increase of only 1.1% in global population.
With recent advances in stem cell research, human pluripotent stem cells have been successfully differentiated into self-organizing tissues called ‘organoids’. The cells and their organization within these organoids show a high degree of similarity to in vivo tissues and could ultimately lead the way to regenerative medicine. For example, human-induced pluripotent stem cell–derived kidney organoids contain all cell types found in the human kidney and are remarkably well organized. However, additional efforts will be needed to overcome challenges such as the lack of cell maturation, limited cell diversity, vascularization and functionality, immediate applications including nephrotoxicity screening, the modelling of kidney development and renal diseases or a ‘kidney-on-a-chip’ concepts are already starting to materialize. In this review, the most recent protocols of generating kidney organoids will be discussed in addition to bioengineering approaches using microfluidics and modelling of renal disease-related phenotypes in kidney organoids differentiated from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells.
Journal of Clinical Nephrology and Therapeutics publishes scientific manuscripts that are directly or indirectly based on variegated aspects of clinical nephrology, diabetic nephropathy, pediatric nephrology, renal physiology, renal histopathology, immunobiology, intensive care nephrology and ischemic nephropathy.
The journal most specifically emphasizes on the propagation of research developments that may contribute in the furtherance of research and clinical implementation of novel tools as well as adept clinical techniques including renal transplantation, dialysis, diagnostic kidney imaging, aging and kidney disease, hemodialysis, body fluid volume composition, nephron endowment and erythropoietin therapy.
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