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Lab-grown kidneys transplanted in to rats

Posted on Monday, 15 April, 2013 | Comment icon 8 comments

Image credit: Nature / Youtube

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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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hilander on 15 April, 2013, 13:38
Pretty soon need a new organ they will grow you one. Hopefully it will keep you from having to take those anti rejection drugs.
Comment icon #2 Posted by keninsc on 15 April, 2013, 17:49
Question is, will your insurance pay for it. Odds are they won't on the grounds that you'll just die at some point any way and it's just a waste of money......their's.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Lava_Lady on 15 April, 2013, 20:10
Amazing! Thanks go to the animals that had to die for this!
Comment icon #4 Posted by ashven on 16 April, 2013, 8:21
I don't think you'll need to worry about insurance for a while as they'll be looking for volunteers but on another note,WOW!!! I never imagined this kind of science in my lifetime
Comment icon #5 Posted by mfrmboy on 16 April, 2013, 14:41
AWESOME ! Absolutely fantastic !!!
Comment icon #6 Posted by shrooma on 19 April, 2013, 4:18
speaking as someone with only one kidney, all i can say is, 'about bloody time!!' :-)
Comment icon #7 Posted by shrooma on 19 April, 2013, 4:19
Comment icon #8 Posted by shrooma on 19 April, 2013, 4:26
. i'm not sure any animals WOULD'VE had to die? the kidneys were grown from stem cells, and a rat can live as easily with one as it can with two until the airfix/mattel one was fitted back in!

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