Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cultured kidney cell layer is a step towards improved dialysis

Date:
December 6, 2010
Source:
Eindhoven University of Technology
Summary:
Researchers in the Netherlands have succeeded in culturing a layer of kidney cells in the lab. These cells maintained their functional properties, and are able to purify blood. The key to this success is a new kind of bioactive synthetic membrane with a structure resembling that of human basement membrane in the kidney. This is a step towards improved kidney dialysis. The ultimate aim of the scientists is to be able to grow whole biological artificial kidneys using autologous cells.

Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the University Medical Center Groningen have succeeded in culturing a layer of kidney cells in the lab. These cells maintained their functional properties, and are able to purify blood.

The key to this success is a new kind of bioactive synthetic membrane developed at TU/e with a structure resembling that of human basement membrane in the kidney. This is a step towards improved kidney dialysis. The ultimate aim of the scientists is to be able to grow whole biological artificial kidneys using autologous cells.

Kidney function is vitally important; for example the kidneys filter toxic metabolic waste products from the blood. Many people suffer from kidney failure, and more than 6000 people in the Netherlands (and over 350.000 in the United States) require artificial blood cleansing by kidney dialysis. Unfortunately this technique is not yet perfect: its purifying capacity is only 15 to 20% of that of healthy kidneys. Scientists are therefore looking for ways to restore kidney function using cultured kidney cells.

Nanofibers

Dr. Patricia Dankers, who has a central role in this research, explains that there are two essential characteristics of the synthetic membranes on which she cultures the kidney cells: their structure and their bioactivity. Structurally the membranes consist of nanofibers that are part of larger, micrometer-size fibers. This structure resembles that of a human kidney membrane. The kidney cells grow on this fibrous membrane, but cease to function after several days. Dankers was only able to maintain the cell function by adding bioactive signals to the synthetic membrane.

Signals

These signals enable the kidney cells to adhere and survive, and ensure that they continue to function. Dankers was able to achieve this by supramolecular attachment of bioactive peptides (small pieces of protein) to the synthetic membranes. To do this Dankers used a kind of 'Velcro' binding, also relatively recently developed at TU/e. This allows the bioactive groups to be coupled to the membrane without the complex processes that were formerly needed.

Better dialysis

The researchers now intend to work on a biological artificial kidney to supplement the existing dialysis systems. This will increase the quality of dialysis treatment, because the kidney cells are able to filter exactly the right substances out of the blood. Dankers also hopes that the kidney cells will, in the longer term, produce hormones made by normal kidneys. These are important in making red blood cells, for example. However she is unable to say how long it may take to reach this stage. "It's difficult to predict, and we don't want to create unrealistic expectations."

After that the next step will be to develop a mobile dialysis system, so that kidney patients do not repeatedly have to visit hospitals. "Our ultimate dream is to make an implantable, living artificial kidney," says Dankers.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Eindhoven University of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Patricia Y.W. Dankers, Jasper M. Boomker, Ali Huizinga-van der Vlag, Eva Wisse, Wilco P.J. Appel, Frank M.M. Smedts, Martin C. Harmsen, Anton W. Bosman, W. Meijer, Marja J.A. van Luyn. Bioengineering of living renal membranes consisting of hierarchical, bioactive supramolecular meshes and human tubular cells. Biomaterials, 2010; DOI: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2010.09.020

Cite This Page:

Eindhoven University of Technology. "Cultured kidney cell layer is a step towards improved dialysis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116075807.htm>.
Eindhoven University of Technology. (2010, December 6). Cultured kidney cell layer is a step towards improved dialysis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116075807.htm
Eindhoven University of Technology. "Cultured kidney cell layer is a step towards improved dialysis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/11/101116075807.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

Fauci: Ebola Protocols to Focus on Training

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says he expects revised CDC protocols on Ebola to focus on training, observation and ensuring health care workers are more protected. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins