Scientists have succeeded in transplanting a working rat kidney that was grown in a laboratory.
The 'bio-engineered' organ was created by taking the kidney of a dead rat and stripping it down to its underlying scaffold of connective tissue. The organ was then seeded with two cells types to grow a working kidney that could be transplanted in to a live rat. While not as efficient as a natural kidney, the lab-grown organ nonetheless functioned correctly within the rat and started to produce urine.
"This study reports important milestones toward engineering replacement kidney grafts [and] shows the potential for this strategy," said urologist Anthony Atala. It is hoped that in the future this technique could be used to help provide replacement kidneys for transplant in humans.
"Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have fitted rats with kidneys that were grown in a lab from stripped-down kidney scaffolds."
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