Researchers for the University of Queensland, Australia have announced a "major leap forward in eliminating" the scarcity of kidneys for transplantation by growing the first ever complex human kidney from stem cells, as reported by Science World Report on Monday December 16th, 2013. Statics reveal that for those suffering with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the wait for a donor kidney is often one of agony and ultimately occurs for only a quarter (1 in 4) of individuals. Though a total of approximately 93,000 patients are registered for a Kidney Transplant in the United States, last year only 16,812 Kidney Transplants actually took place; 11, 043 were from deceased donors while a meager 5,769 came from live donors. It is believed that this new finding, also referred to as an Artificial Kidney, "opens up doors for better kidney failure and renal diseases treatment," even more than previous breakthroughs.
The most impressive aspect of the study is that researchers were able to develop a code that prompted different types of stem cells to arrange themselves into complex structures that exist within a kidney. This phenomenon is called "self-organization." Professor Melissa Little, University of Queensland's Institute of Molecular Bioscience said that, "The fact that such stem cell populations can undergo self-organization in the laboratory bodes well for the future of tissue bioengineering to replace damaged and diseased organs and tissues."
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Although these most recent findings have not offered a final solution to CKD , it is a major step forward and the created kidneys can be used for the testing of drugs in the short term. Also, this finding is not made in a vacuum, as reported earlier in the year by KidneyBuzz.com, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital created lab-grown kidneys that worked in rodents. Also, Japan acknowledged that it was able to make partially functioning organs, and research in China has given way to the 3D printing of small kidneys. There have additionally been major leaps in the production of an implantable kidney device. This all culminates into a picture for people who have CKD that should offer hope and optimism for the future of beating this disease.
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"‘Self-organising’ Mini-kidney to Heal Renal Diseases." Http://au.ibtimes.com/. International Business Times.
ROSS, JOHN. "University of Queensland Scientists Create First Complex Human Organ Produced from Stem Cells after Growing Tiny Kidney." Http://www.theaustralian.com.au/. News Corp Australia.
Bochenski, Natalie. "UQ Kidney Breakthrough a Step Forward in Bioengineering." Http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/. Brisbane Times.
Press Release. "Kidney Successfully Grown From Stem Cells." Http://www.scienceworldreport.com/. Science World Report/he University of Queensland.
Press Release. "UQ Researchers Grow Kidney from Stem Cells." Http://www.uq.edu.au/news. The University of Queensland.