A recent publication in Nature Medicine (Song JJ et al., Nat Med. 2013) demonstrated the potential of bioengineering a kidney utilizing Miromatrix’ decellularization and recellularization technology in a small animal model. Song et al. demonstrated and characterized the generation of three-dimensional acellular kidney scaffolds via perfusion decellularization of cadaveric rat, porcine, and human kidneys. They then demonstrated reseeding of endothelial and epithelial compartments of kidney scaffolds leading to the formation of viable grafts. Not only did the cells engraft and survive over a large distance of vascular and tubular channels, but different cellular phenotypes reconstituted specialized tissues in physiologic spatial and functional relationships. Specific glomerular basement membrane proteins were preserved in decellularized kidney scaffolds, and podocytes engrafted in glomerular regions expressed β1 integrin indicating site-specific cell adhesion to physiologic ECM domains. This is unique to native extracellular matrix scaffolds. After four to eight days in whole organ culture, Song et al. found that regenerated kidney constructs could be perfused, and produced urine when tested in vitro. Working with Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, Miromatrix now has moved into large animal (pig) studies. This work is ongoing and our progress continues to build as we strive to eliminate the kidney donor wait list.
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