Growing organs in labs is a great way of helping people suffering from different types of diseases and organ failures. However, these organs can also provide a great way of furthering medical research.
Medical research as an application for such organs is important because, as easy as it is to test medicines on animals, the results still aren’t comparable to complex human biology.
This creates a gap in the research that takes a lot of time and effort to fill. Now, researchers from Australia have found a way to fill that gap, by growing Mini-Kidney‘s from stem cells.
These kidney’s are created by using Pluripotent Stem Cells, which can easily turn into any other type of cell. This gives these kidney’s a unique composition that contains over 20 cell types found in mature kidneys.
This variety of cell types were included specifically to make sure that the kidney’s function similarly to that of a developing human fetus.
By making them as similar to regular organs as possible, the researchers aim to use the organs to successfully test drugs, understand diseases patterns and develop cell therapies with greater accuracy.
In addition to the testing, this technology is also expected to be used to one day match and make patient specific transplant organs, thus removing the dependency on organ donors.
Those applications, however, are still quite far away in the future. For now, we are just happy to know that these sort of organs will help improve the testing and development of new life saving drugs.