Medical College of Georgia reports about a bioartificial kidney containing billions of donor kidney cells, that is being tested in clinical settings:
“Existing forms of dialysis have only replaced the ability of the kidneys to rid the body of waste products and correct abnormalities in blood chemistry; they don’t replace kidney function,” says Dr. Szerlip.
The kidneys also secrete hormones, help determine how the body metabolizes calcium and phosphorus, stimulate red blood cell production, play a role in blood pressure regulation and clear and metabolize cytokines that help direct the immune system.
The new device for kidney failure adds billions of kidney cells that can perform many of these important kidney functions. Human proximal tubule cells are collected from kidneys obtained by the National Disease Research Interchange, a nonprofit organization that provides researchers with tissues and organs anatomically unsuitable for transplant.
The cells are grown into the walls of thousands of hollow fibers contained in a cartridge similar to those used for traditional dialysis.