About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Device That Models Human Kidney Function Developed

Font : A-A+

  • The new model kidney incorporates a porous growth substrate, physiological fluid flow, and the passive filtration of the glomerulus.
  • It will also serve as a platform to study drug interactions with tissues and cells.
  • In future, this model can be used as an animal alternative during pre-clinical testing.

Device That Models Human Kidney Function Developed

A new device to model the human kidney proximal tubule and glomerulus has been developed. This will serve as a unique platform to understand the interactions between drugs and cells or tissues.

The model kidney was developed by Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler and Binghamton biomedical engineering alumna Courtney Sakolish PhD from Binghamton University State University of New York.


The reusable, multi-layered and microfluidic device incorporates a porous growth substrate, with a physiological fluid flow, and the passive filtration of the capillaries around the end of a kidney, called the glomerulus, where waste is filtered from blood.

"This is a unique platform to study interactions between drugs and cells or tissues, specifically in the kidney, where current models were lacking," said Sakolish. "These platforms will, hopefully, in the future, be used as an animal alternative during pre-clinical testing to more accurately direct these studies toward successful results in humans."

"This is tissue engineering, but not for the purpose or replacing an organ or tissue in a person," said Mahler.

"The idea is that we can recreate the major organ functions in a simplified way for use as a drug screening tool. Finding new drugs is very hard, expensive and inefficient. We hope that by using human cells in a physiological environment we can help to direct resources toward the most promising new drug candidates and determine that other new drug candidates will fail, faster." Mahler added.

Cells grown in the device exhibit more natural behaviors compared to when grown in traditional culturing methods, and the filtration by the glomerulus is necessary for healthy cell function.

"We found that the more complex, dynamic culturing conditions (like those used in this project) are necessary to accurately predict renal drug toxicity in human systems," said Sakolish.

"When we compared physiological renal function and drug toxicity in traditional static culturing against our new model, we found significant differences in the ways that cells behaved. In our platform, cells looked and acted like those that you would find in the body, showing more sensitive responses to drugs than traditional static culturing." Sakolish added.

While previous models of microfluidic proximal tubule have been developed, this is the first to offer glomerular filtration.

"This type of device uses human cells in a dynamic, more physiologic environment, potentially making it better at predicting the body's response to drugs than animals (animal effectiveness studies often don't translate to humans) or static cell cultures, which are the most commonly used preclinical screening tools," said Mahler.

The paper titled "A novel microfluidic device to model the human proximal tubule and glomerulus," is published in RSC Advances.


  1. Courtney M. Sakolish et al. A novel microfluidic device to model the human proximal tubule and glomerulus. RSC Advances; (2017) DOI: 10.1039/C6RA25641D

Source: Medindia

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Fermented Skin Care
Television Binge-Watching May Boost the Risk of Deadly Blood Clots
Western Diet may Augment the Risk of Autoimmune Diseases
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Urinary Stones In Children Vesico-Ureteric Reflux Causing UTI in Children Hydronephrosis / Antenatal Counseling Kidney Disease Kidney Kidney Health Stones in Urinary Tract Renal Tubular Acidosis Kidney Biopsy Prevention of Kidney Disease 

Recommended Reading
Diet for Kidney stones
Diet for kidney stone should comprise of calcium-rich foods, increased fluid intake. Other dietary ....
Iron Deficiency Anemia in Kidney Disease can be Treated With Oral Ferric Citrate
An oral iron formulation instead of intravenous iron may be a safe and effective treatment for ......
High Dose of Vitamin B Linked to Kidney Damage in Diabetics
Patients with diabetic nephropathy, kidney disease caused by diabetes and treated with high doses .....
Alarming Facts about Kidney Disease
The rising incidence of lifestyle related diseases like diabetes and hypertension has risen and ......
Hydronephrosis / Antenatal Counseling
Currently most pregnant women undergo one or two ultrasound scans during their pregnancy....
Prevention of Kidney Disease
Kidney damage is usually detected at advanced stages. Healthy lifestyle, keeping diabetes and blood ...
Renal Tubular Acidosis
Renal tubular acidosis/RTA results in acid content of the blood being higher than normal and that of...
Stones in Urinary Tract
Ask people who have suffered from urinary stones and they will tell you how excruciating the pain ca...
Urinary Stones In Children
There is a wide misconception that only adults develop stones. On the contrary kidney stones are ver...
Vesico-Ureteric Reflux Causing UTI in Children
Bacterial infection of urinary bladder can cause pain and burning sensation while passing urine. Abn...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)