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Biotech Medicine Science

Lab-grown Kidneys Transplanted Into Rats 55

ananyo writes with this bit about lab grown organs from Nature: "Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have fitted rats with kidneys that were grown in a lab from stripped-down kidney scaffolds. When transplanted, these 'bioengineered' organs starting filtering the rodents' blood and making urine. The team, led by organ-regeneration specialist Harald Ott, started with the kidneys of recently deceased rats and used detergent to strip away the cells, leaving behind the underlying scaffold of connective tissues such as the structural components of blood vessels. They then regenerated the organ by seeding this scaffold with two cell types: human umbilical-vein cells to line the blood vessels, and kidney cells from newborn rats to produce the other tissues that make up the organ (paper)."
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Lab-grown Kidneys Transplanted Into Rats

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  • started with the kidneys of recently deceased rats

    replace rats with humans and as George Carlin said on using dead people as fertilizer, "you want recycling? lets get serious"

    • by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @06:25AM (#43459541) Homepage
      We do this already. Not the fertilizer thing (at least, not primarily, but I'm all for being buried in a cardboard box and turning into mulch), but the organ transplant thing. Now we've got a hack to bypass biological DRM. Better not let the MPAA hear about it.
      • biological DRM

        Wouldn't that be BRM? Although "bio-digital" (biogital?, bigital?) sounds awesome. Not the RM part though.

    • replace rats with humans and as George Carlin said on using dead people as fertilizer, "you want recycling? lets get serious"

      Well, I for one am all for someone doing something useful with my corpse when I'm dead, it's not like I'll have much use for it myself anyways. If someone wants to use me as a fertilizer I say go for it.

    • Happen as mebbe, lad. []

  • Amazing. How do they manage to find all these rats in need of a kidney transplant?
  • '... and kidney cells from newborn rats to produce the other tissues that make up the organ.'

    Finally, a good reason to have children.

  • Ironic, as it was featured as a destination for the injured in Beantown yesterday... one of the many upbeat stories amid the carnage was the revelation by newscasters that the area has so many first rate medical facilities.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You mean "Coincidently". It would have been ironic if the explosives were made of lab-grown kidneys.
  • Lab grown artificial heart,liver,brain,hand,foot,ear,eye etc. Human augmentics FTW no more organ harvesters.

    • Well that'll be a huge jump - the big discovery in this work is that the intercellular matrix, the "dead" stuff we used to assume was just the scaffolding holding everything together, is actually apparently rich in biological information instructing cells how to behave and organize. We're only just discovering how to use the stuff to grow organs rather than useless lumps of organ cells. For the forseeable future we'll still need to harvest organs for their matrix, the advantage will be that they don't hav

  • by MassiveForces ( 991813 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @09:08AM (#43460411)
    The printing of cells into organs using inkjet technology, and biological/artificial scaffolds is not new. Yes it's nice that they were able to start with just a particular scaffolding and a bunch of cells and turn it into an organ that functions, but this isn't the real challenge in regenerative tissue engineering.

    The cells they chose were from the same type of organ from newborns, therefore there was a large number of stem cells in that particular mix which were already programmed to develop into a new kidney anyway.

    The biggest problem is getting cells from your patient, then turning them into stem cells, and then setting them off with some sort of signal or series of signals to develop into a given tissue type. This avoids many host rejection problems and ethics considerations. It would also be useful in in-vitro lab work. For example, I am trying out scaffolds to see if I can get certain cell lines to differentiate into something that better resembles the functionality and complexity of lung tissue. If I could do that, we could reduce experimenting on animals to find out the effects of inhaling pollutants and so on.
  • by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Tuesday April 16, 2013 @10:14AM (#43461265)

    Diabetic rats everywhere are now rushing for kidney transplants.

  • All these articles make me think that it must be really good to be a rat these days, what with all the medical advances available to them.

    Not sure if a really sick rat could afford it, though....

    Disclaimer: totally facetious, as always....

  • Out of curiosity, since we can clearly demonstrate human and animal cells (stem cells) that "know how" (that is, contain the necessary "reconfiguration" information) to individuate to generate all types of biological structures, what is the mainline argument against cells that intrinsically contain all the DNA "data" necessary to similarly individuate directly to varying species?

    Surely the mainline Darwinian argument here is stronger than, "cells as of now, absolutely and provably so", and "cells as of back

  • I can tell you that it is stories like this that I look for everyday. Transplanted kidneys suffer the same fate as all transplanted organs. My immune system will eventually find a way to get around the immuno-suppressive drugs I am always on and kill the kidney as it would any foreign cell in the body.

    The liver will be one of the first lab-grown organs to be transplanted because the liver is a very simple organ. Nearly all cells of the liver do exactly the same thing.

    But the kidney is a very comple

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay