Printed kidney tissue closer to reality

May 28, 2014 by Bronwyn Adams
Printed kidney tissue closer to reality
Professor Melissa Little, Minister Ian Walker and Professor Justin Cooper-White at the announcement that Uniquest has signed an agreement with Organovo to print kidney tissue.

Queensland researchers are one step closer to printing 3D human kidney tissue thanks to a partnership between The University of Queensland and a US biotechnology company.

UQ, via its commercialisation company UniQuest, has signed an agreement with San Diego-based Organovo, which specialises in 3D printing of human tissues.

Under the agreement, Organovo will work with UQ researchers Professor Melissa Little and Professor Justin Cooper-White to ultimately produce 3D printed mini-kidneys.

Professor Little, from UQ's Institute for Molecular Bioscience, said 3D printing of fully functional kidney tissue would lead to better disease modelling and drug development.

"We will be able to grow mini-organs from the of patients with genetic kidney disease, both to better understand the nature of their disease and to test treatments that may improve renal function," she said.

"This will help us enormously in tackling , a growing public health issue in Australia with one in three Australians at risk of developing the disease and a cost to the taxpayer of about $1.8 billion per annum.

"These mini-kidneys could also be used to test the safety of .

"The sad fact is that most new drugs fail during testing in humans and a big reason for that is that they turn out to be toxic to kidneys.

"If we can test a drug for kidney toxicity before commencing human trials we'll save lot of time, effort and, of course, money.

Professor Cooper-White, from UQ's Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, has developed technology that permits stem cells to be cultured under thousands of different conditions.

This technology allows researchers to determine the best conditions for prompting to develop into tissue cells, include .

Professor Cooper-White said it took thousands of different cells on a large scale to create a functional mini- suitable for drug and toxicity screening.

"The mini-kidneys being developed need to closely resemble the human organ so we can be confident that drug screening in the lab will generate the same response," Professor Cooper-White said.

"We believe our microbioreactor technology provides an environment more akin to that of a living human body, enabling us to provide cells with the optimum conditions needed to achieve the end objective of 3D printed mini-kidneys."

Explore further: Organovo announces ability to print 3D human liver tissue

More information: www.uniquest.com.au/

Related Stories

Organovo announces ability to print 3D human liver tissue

April 24, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—Organovo Holdings, Inc., a company that designs and creates functional human tissue has announced at this year's Experimental Biology Conference that it has developed a 3D printing technique that is able ...

Team grows kidney from stem cells

December 16, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—University of Queensland researchers have made a major leap forward in treating renal disease, today announcing they have grown a kidney using stem cells.

Researchers generate kidney tubular cells from stem cells

December 19, 2013

Researchers have successfully coaxed stem cells to become kidney tubular cells, a significant advance toward one day using regenerative medicine, rather than dialysis and transplantation, to treat kidney failure. The findings ...

Body's fatty folds may help fight kidney failure

March 21, 2014

A fatty fold of tissue within the abdomen that is a rich source of stem cells can help heal diseased kidneys when fused to the organs, according to a study conducted in rats. The findings, which appear in an upcoming issue ...

Recommended for you

Basic research fuels advanced discovery

August 26, 2016

Clinical trials and translational medicine have certainly given people hope and rapid pathways to cures for some of mankind's most troublesome diseases, but now is not the time to overlook the power of basic research, says ...

New avenue for understanding cause of common diseases

August 25, 2016

A ground-breaking Auckland study could lead to discoveries about many common diseases such as diabetes, cancer and dementia. The new finding could also illuminate the broader role of the enigmatic mitochondria in human development.

New method creates endless supply of kidney precursor cells

August 25, 2016

Salk Institute scientists have discovered the holy grail of endless youthfulness—at least when it comes to one type of human kidney precursor cell. Previous attempts to maintain cultures of the so-called nephron progenitor ...

Strict diet combats rare progeria aging disorders

August 25, 2016

Mice with a severe aging disease live three times longer if they eat thirty percent less. Moreover, they age much healthier than mice that eat as much as they want. These are findings of a joint study being published today ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.