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Biomaterials. 2013 Aug;34(24):5915-25. doi: 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2013.04.033. Epub 2013 May 13.

Discarded human kidneys as a source of ECM scaffold for kidney regeneration technologies.

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Department of General Surgery, Section of Transplantation, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, USA.


In the United States, more than 2600 kidneys are discarded annually, from the total number of kidneys procured for transplant. We hypothesized that this organ pool may be used as a platform for renal bioengineering and regeneration research. We previously showed that decellularization of porcine kidneys yields renal extracellular matrix (ECM) scaffolds that maintain their basic components, support cell growth and welfare in vitro and in vivo, and show an intact vasculature that, when such scaffolds are implanted in vivo, is able to sustain physiological blood pressure. The purpose of the current study was to test if the same strategy can be applied to discarded human kidneys in order to obtain human renal ECM scaffolds. The results show that the sodium dodecylsulfate-based decellularization protocol completely cleared the cellular compartment in these kidneys, while the innate ECM framework retained its architecture and biochemical properties. Samples of human renal ECM scaffolds stimulated angiogenesis in a chick chorioallantoic membrane assay. Importantly, the innate vascular network in the human renal ECM scaffolds retained its compliance. Collectively, these results indicate that discarded human kidneys are a suitable source of renal scaffolds and their use for tissue engineering applications may be more clinically applicable than kidneys derived from animals.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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