For the first time, scientists have generated 3-dimensional kidney structures from human stem cells, using growth factors and mouse embryonic kidney cells to coax the stem cells to grow into early-stage ureteric buds (Xia Y et al. Nat Cell Biol. 2013;15:1507-1515). These buds later developed into the kidney’s collecting duct system.
Investigators from the United States and Spain created the structures with both human embryonic stem cells and patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells. For the latter, the researchers generated kidney structures from cells taken from a patient who had been diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease.
Hampton T. Scientists Coax Stem Cells to Form 3D Kidney Structures. JAMA. 2014;311(1):19. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.284836