Getting closer to the real life complexity and architecture of the kidney in a lab-grown model
Organoids are lab-grown models of tissues and organs – they give researchers the chance to poke around in ways that are impossible in the real thing. Yet growing realistic organoids is a challenge. Here tissue engineers build a 3D kidney-oid, by mimicking how the stroma (structural tissue) guides functional tissue, the parenchyma, as it develops. Watching how real kidney stroma forms, the researchers programmed mouse embryonic stem cells to follow a similar path. Combining these with parenchymal cells destined to become different parts of the kidney helps this organoid to bloom with a complex architecture. A digitised image reveals parts of its lab-grown nephron (red, white and blue) together with ureteric buds (green) which, in real kidneys, syphon liquid towards the bladder. These kidney-oids may now be used to study kidney disease or to better understand how this vital organ cleans our blood.
BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.
BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.