Research Alert

A new review published ahead of print in the journal Function looks at methods used to improve the structure and function of bioengineered kidneys. Bioengineered kidneys—from biological and synthetic materials—can increase the number of organs available to people in need of a healthy kidney.

The elaborate filtration, reabsorption and secretion systems of the kidneys make it difficult to reconstruct. “Building kidney models does not only recapitulate the highly complex tissue of a native kidney but also resemble its physiology,” the review’s authors wrote.

Using the keywords “kidney organoid” and “kidney tissue engineering,” reviewers collected more than 300 original articles from PubMed and the U.K.-based Mendeley and identified five different types of bioengineered kidney models, including:

  • decellularization and recellularization of the kidney,
  • reaggregation of kidney cells,
  • kidney organoid,
  • kidney in scaffolds, and
  • kidney-on-a-chip

However, only half of the studies included functional assessments on the models. “Physiological assessments importantly contribute to the improvement of the bioengineered kidney model towards repairing and re-functioning the damaged kidney,” the authors wrote.

Read the full article, “Bioengineered kidney models: methods and functional assessments.” Contact the APS Communications Office to schedule an interview with the research team.