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Macromol Biosci. 2010 Nov 10;10(11):1345-54. doi: 10.1002/mabi.201000146.

The use of fibrous, supramolecular membranes and human tubular cells for renal epithelial tissue engineering: towards a suitable membrane for a bioartificial kidney.

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Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands.


A bioartificial kidney, which is composed of a membrane cartridge with renal epithelial cells, can substitute important kidney functions in patients with renal failure. A particular challenge is the maintenance of monolayer integrity and specialized renal epithelial cell functions ex vivo. We hypothesized that this can be improved by electro-spun, supramolecular polymer membranes which show clear benefits in ease of processability. We found that after 7 d, in comparison to conventional microporous membranes, renal tubular cells cultured on top of our fibrous supramolecular membranes formed polarized monolayers, which is prerequisite for a well-functioning bioartificial kidney. In future, these supramolecular membranes allow for incorporation of peptides that may increase cell function even further.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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