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Scientists Grow Kidneys in Lab

by VR Sreeraman on April 10, 2011 at 6:41 PM
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 Scientists Grow Kidneys in Lab

Scottish scientists have succeeded in growing kidneys in a laboratory that could help tackle the shortage of organs for transplant.

The development could help tackle the tragic shortage of organs for transplant, reports the Scotsman.

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Researchers at the University of Edinburgh created the organs by manipulating stem cells - early cells that are the building blocks of the body - to form the structure of a kidney.

They then managed to create kidneys that measure just half a centimetre in length - the same size as a kidney in a foetus, which they hope will be able to grow to maturity after being transplanted into patients' bodies.
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The kidneys were grown in the laboratory using a combination of cells from amniotic fluid - the fluid that surrounds all babies in the womb - and animal foetal cells.

The technique holds out the prospect of scientists being able to collect amniotic fluid at birth to be stored until needed at a later date if a patient develops kidney disease.

The patient's own amniotic fluid cells can then be used as the base for creating a new kidney.

Using the patient's own cells will, in theory, also end the problem of rejection that arises when an organ from a deceased donor is used.

The Edinburgh researchers are at the forefront of a global attempt to use stem cells culled from amniotic fluid to create new human kidneys.

The study will be presented at the Edinburgh Science Festival later this month.

Source: ANI
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