"Mini-kidneys" created from human stem cells
A three-dimensional kidney structure created by researchers may provide a new way to study kidney diseases and fill significant voids in scientists’ knowledge of kidney development.
The new platform may lead to treatments for restoring kidney function—a significant possibility due to the kidney’s rare ability to function once they are damaged by disease, researchers said.
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies used human stem cells to create 3-D kidney structures. Reported in the journal Nature Cell Biology, the findings said that the new development was the first time researchers have used stem cells to create cellular structures similar to those found in human kidneys.
The findings suggest that the new kidney model may allow researchers to better study the development and diseases of kidneys and potentially create new drugs to target human kidney cells, researchers said.