New Delhi: Researchers have now successfully grown functional mouse kidneys inside rats from just a few donor stem cells. A lot of time, a kidney transplant is the only hope for regaining quality of life. However, these patients will never undergo transplant surgery thanks to a chronic shortage of donor’s kidneys.
Researchers have been working on ways to grow healthy organs outside the human body. One such method, called blastocyst complementation, has already produced promising results. Researchers take blastocysts, the clusters of cells formed several days after egg fertilisation, from mutant animals missing specific organs and inject them with stem cells from a normal donor, not necessarily of the same species.
The stem cells then differentiate to form the entire missing organ in the resulting animal. The new organ retains the characteristics of the original stem cell donor, and can thus potentially be used in transplantation therapy.