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Nat Biotechnol. 1999 May;17(5):451-5.

Replacement of renal function in uremic animals with a tissue-engineered kidney.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan, VA Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


Current renal substitution therapy with hemodialysis or hemofiltration has been the only successful long-term ex vivo organ substitution therapy to date. Although this approach is life sustaining, it is still unacceptably suboptimal with poor clinical outcomes of patients with either chronic end-stage renal disease or acute renal failure. This current therapy utilizes synthetic membranes to substitute for the small solute clearance function of the renal glomerulus but does not replace the transport, metabolic, and endocrinologic functions of the tubular cells. The addition of tubule cell replacement therapy in a tissue-engineered bioartificial kidney comprising both biologic and synthetic components will likely optimize renal replacement to improve clinical outcomes. This report demonstrates that the combination of a synthetic hemofiltration device and a renal tubule cell therapy device containing porcine renal tubule cells in an extracorporeal perfusion circuit successfully replaces filtration, transport, metabolic, and endocrinologic functions of the kidney in acutely uremic dogs.

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