Blog | HemaCare

Stem Cells and Gene Editing Technology Together Create a Mini-Kidney in the Lab

Nov 30, 2015 1:00:54 PM / by Shweta

 Scientists engineered polycystic kidney disease and glomerulonephritis in the lab using stem cells and the powerful gene editing tool CRISPR. Image credit: editing technology along with stem cells helped scientists develop a miniature scale kidney

In the past, researchers already developed complex kidney structures using stem cells. Now, the main aim of kidney tissue engineering is to develop new therapies to repair kidney damage and thus reduce the need for dialysis and transplantation. Recently, scientists at University of Washington in collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have grown mini-kidneys in the laboratory [1]. The ex-vivo kidney could be used to study abnormalities in kidney development, chronic kidney disease, and the effects of toxic drugs on acute and chronic kidney conditions.

It had already been established that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a powerful tool for drug discovery and the development of cellular transplantation therapies. In this current study, scientists used human pluripotent stem cells to differentiate them into mini-kidney organoids. These newly formed organoids contain tubules, filtering cells, and blood vessel cells. The kidneys were also able to successfully transport chemicals and respond to toxic injury, similar to kidney tubules inside human body. These kidneys were further subjected to gene-editing using the newly invested technique called “CRISPR”. CRISPR technology has become widely accepted by researchers to correct genomes without affecting germ cells in people with devastating illnesses. Here, the main idea was to utilize both techniques to model human kidney diseases in a petri dish. This promising finding provides a proof of concept, which can be potentially explored for mimicking any other kinds of organs as well.

It has been established that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) have tremendous therapeutic potential for several diseases. We at HemaCare are proud to provide different kinds of stem cells for your research needs. Collections and processing are conducted in accordance with standard operating procedures (SOPs) to without exception ensure a quality product.


[1] Freeedman et al., Modelling kidney disease with CRISPR-mutant kidney organoids derived from human pluripotent epiblast spheroids. Nature Communications 2015. doi:10.1038/ncomms9715

Topics: disease-state cells, iPSCs, Regenerative Medicine, Stem Cells


Written by Shweta

      Subscribe Here!

      Posts by Topic

      see all

      Recent Posts