A leap forward in kidney disease research: Scientists develo
In a landmark study published in Nature Communications, scientists at Children's Hospital Los Angeles demonstrate an in vitro kidney model that could change the course of research for diseases like CKD.

The critical component missing from previous experiments was a filter that is selective and allows proper cell-to-cell communication. Dr. Da Sacco and Dr. Perin set out to grow healthy kidney cells in a way that allowed for the natural glomerular barrier to form, just as it does in the body. Using specialized, compartmented containers called OrganoplatesTM, the investigators did exactly that.

The result?

A model glomerulus that functions nearly identically to that found in real kidneys. They are calling this model, which is derived entirely from healthy, human kidney tissue, a glomerulus on a chip.

On one side of the cells, investigators add fluid and, on the other side, they collect what the 'glomerulus' filters, which is called the filtrate. In their experiment, the scientists added blood serum from healthy individuals. Without the use of a manufactured filter, the team's in vitro glomerulus behaved as human kidneys are expected to act: proteins remained in the serum while smaller molecules passed into the filtrate. "The barrier that our cells naturally formed is selective, just as it would be in a fully-functioning kidney," says Dr. Da Sacco. "It is remarkable."

This model represents a substantial leap forward from the current standard of in vitro kidney research. "Our system behaves like a biologically, physiologically correct glomerulus," says Dr. Perin. "This opens up the door for us to understand what we still don't know -- the molecular mechanisms of injury in CKD and, more importantly, how to prevent damage."

Source: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-08-kidney-disease-scientists-breakthrough-vitro.html
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