Scientists Use 3D Printing To Create New Stem Cells For Kidney Health
The CEO of Organovo, Taylor Crouch, says that collaborative effort between world-class institutions can lead towards accelerated work in implantable tissues and finding cures for critical diseases. Crouch further stated that the company’s partnership with Murdoch Research Institute and the head of Kidney Research at MCRI, Melissa Little made producing kidney organoids possible. Combining the 3D bioprinter with the lab’s proprietary stem cell modeling paved the way for detailed kidney tissues to be made, advancing the technology needed for therapeutic applications and drug testing. Crouch believes that it’s an important step towards successfully treating patients with kidney disease.
According to the report, the differentiation of embryonic stem cells to kidney organoids can mean improvement towards disease modeling, renal function restoration and drug screening via patient-derived stem cells.
Organovo claims to have had successes in regards to replicating the differentiation protocol and putting it on the NovoGen 3D Bioprinter for rapid and automated fabrication of the organoids. Tests showed that the bioprinted material was similar to those created via manual generation at component cell type and morphology level, and expression profiles as well. Toxicity screening was made possible by using 96-well plates that had a classic nephrotoxic compound. Results showed that the bio-printed kidneys were equal to those that were manually prepared in terms of function, and as such can be used in a variety of applications. Moreover, a bioprinter gave the company the ability to produce uniform quantities of reproducible organoids sooner than manual processes.
Reporter and control iPSC lines dictated the kidney organoid’s character and showed increasing tubular complexity at 800um on the scale bar.
In short, 3D bioprinting has made it possible to produce iPSC, or human induced pluripotent stem cells, and turn it into organoid kidneys that have the same gene expression, identity and cellular complexity as that of manually-generated ones. The inclusion of a bioprinter allows for faster production without compromising the material’s quality. The organoid kidneys may be used to further fields of research, including human development modeling, in-vitro disease and drug testing while providing promise for future tissue engineering processes and stem cell therapy for treating patients suffering from renal disease.
Organizations around the globe are actively pushing for the development of bioprinting in hopes of getting tangible results that can be applied to patients over the next few years. In fact, researchers and bioprinting companies are all working towards creating solutions to treat conditions such as renal disease and failure. The GBD, or Global Burden of Disease, has revealed that there was an increase of people dying from kidney failure, up 32 percent since 2005 and now numbering 1.2 million individuals. Furthermore, it was believed that up to 7.1 million people died from end-stage kidney disease without getting chronic dialysis treatment, and about 10 million die each year due to kidney disease.
The biotech firm has expressed interest in developing 3D-printed tissues with human application in mind for about 10 years and running. Organovo first focused on looking for a solution to liver disease and started looking at IND-track programs for their NovoTissues in order to address chronic and unmet medical needs by traditional healthcare industry. The firm’s program in 2017 was to address Alpha-1 antitryspin deficiency, which received FDA orphan drug designation and gave the company access to the in-vitro tissue platform with high value drug discovery in mind. Organovo’s commitment to advanced medical care is largely concentrated on kidney tissue; the firm has released a large number of data regarding their work on 3D printed tissues for testing and research purposes in the last 5 years. Advancing personalized patient care and regenerative medicine should address challenges the world is currently facing with its aged population. Evolving healthcare needs on traditional platforms is not enough- medical advances such as the one Organovo offers may in the future save lives and make healthcare costs more affordable and therefore more accessible to everyone who needs it.
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