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article imageCan kidneys be recycled?

By Tim Sandle     May 25, 2013 in Health
Can kidneys be recycled? A new science paper suggests that kidneys could be put to use as raw material for engineering new kidneys.
The paper has been published in the journal Biomaterials and it considers the fate of the thousands of kidneys from deceased donors are thrown away each year due to damage.
According to the researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (via DNA India), more than 2,600 donor kidneys are discarded each year in the U.S. Can these kidneys, questions the journal, be put to better use?
The journal goes on to describe a study where scientists treated discarded human kidneys with a detergent, which cleared the organ of cells and left only the cells’ extracellular matrices behind.
The success of this is intended to lead to an experiment which will attempt to grow a patients’ own cells on the extracellular material with the aim of producing a kidney that the patients would be less likely to reject than an ordinary transplant.
The success rests on the process of treating the kidney because this also removes the antigens that could cause a patient to reject a new kidney.
In a statement describing the work, Giuseppe Orlando, a transplant surgeon and regenerative medicine researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said: “These kidneys maintain their innate three-dimensional architecture, their basic biochemistry, as well as their vessel network system."
So far the researchers have transplanted the modified kidneys into pigs with some success. Human trials may not be that far away.
More about Kidneys, Recycle, Stem cells, Biology
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