Scientists at Harvard’s Wyss Institute have come up with a way of growing podocytes, kidney cells that filter out blood, from induced pluripotent stem cells inside a special chamber that replicates the glomerulus of a kidney. These cells, provided an environment similar to their natural one, have shown remarkable identity to their all-real cousins in their transcriptomic and protein expression abilitities. According to Wyss, they “match those of mature podocytes”.
Because the cells grown using Wyss’ approach are effectively the same as naturally produced ones, researchers now have an ability to perform all kinds of studies that were previously nearly impossible. Diseases can be induced to study the mechanisms, potential drug compounds tried in order to test their effectiveness, and the cells themselves studied to better understand how they work within the kidney.
“Our method’s ability to produce mature human podocytes from iPS cells with high yield and without the need for subpopulation selection or genetic manipulations offers researchers and clinicians a robust, renewable source of kidney cells for scientific and medical studies,” said Samira Musah, Ph.D., one of the researchers that worked on the project.
Via: Wyss Institute…