TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Investigators said they are getting closer to creating a functional bio-artificial kidney.

A bio-artificial kidney could replace the need for dialysis or transplantation in the millions of patients with kidney failure. A key requirement for such a device is the formation of a "living membrane" that consists of a tight kidney cell layer on artificial membrane surfaces and can transport molecules from one side to the other.

In their latest work, Dimitrios Stamatialis, Roos Masereeuw, and their teams achieved this using conditionally immortalized human renal proximal tubular epithelial cells (ciPTECs) on polyethersulfone-based hollow fiber membranes. They demonstrated that the cell monolayer is indeed functional as a living membrane.

"This study shows the successful development of a living membrane consisting of a reproducible ciPTEC monolayer on hollow fiber membranes, an important step towards the development of a bio-artificial kidney device," Stamatialis said.

"The strategies and methods of this work could be relevant to the development of other bio-artificial organs, such as a bio-artificial liver or bio-artificial pancreas, and organs on chips -such as a kidney on chip, a lung on chip, or a liver on chip," he added.