Engineering Human Stem Cells to Model the Kidney’s Filtration Barrier on a Chip

May 11, 2017

(Eurekalert) – A team led by Donald Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., at Harvard’s Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering now reports a solution to this challenge in Nature Biomedical Engineering, which enables the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into mature podocytes with more than 90% efficiency. Linking the differentiation process with organ-on-a-chip technology pioneered by his team, the researchers went on to engineer the first in vitro model of the human glomerulus, demonstrating effective and selective filtration of blood proteins and podocyte toxicity induced by a chemotherapy drug in vitro.

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