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One of the new injectable pressure sensors

When people have nerve problems such as those caused by spinal injuries, they can lose the ability to feel when their bladder is full. This means that they don't know when it needs to be emptied, resulting in a build-up of pressure that can damage both the bladder and their kidneys. Now, a tiny sensor may offer a better way of assessing their condition, to see if surgery is required or if medication will suffice.  Read More

The University of Queensland mini-kidney

Instead of having to wait for one of the limited number of available donor kidneys, patients in need of a transplant may eventually be able to have a new kidney custom-grown for them. That possibility recently took one step closer to reality, as scientists at Australia's University of Queensland successfully grew a "mini-kidney" from stem cells.  Read More

UCLA's new portable testing kit for kidney problems

People who suffer with diabetes and chronic kidney problems may soon have a new, portable device to help them self-monitor their health with less hassle. Researchers at the University of California have developed a smartphone peripheral that carries out tests and transmits data without constant visits to a clinic, which is a daily routine for some patients.  Read More

Previously decellularized rat kidney after reseeding with endothelial cells  (Image: Ott L...

About 100,000 people in the United States alone are on the list to receive a kidney transplant and 400,000 are kept alive by kidney dialysis machines. Unfortunately, there are only 18,000 kidneys available each year in the U.S. and those lucky enough to receive one face a lifetime of immunosuppressant drugs. To increase the supply and remove the risk of tissue rejection, a team of researchers led by Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine has built an experimental bioengineered kidney that not only produces urine, but has been successfully transplanted into a rat.  Read More

The Smart stethoscope is designed to let clinicians know if a patient's kidney stone treat...

When kidney stones can’t be dissolved using medication, the next step is usually a procedure known as shock wave lithotripsy. This involves focusing a series of high-intensity acoustic pulses onto the stones, until they break apart to the point that they can be passed in urine or dissolved by drugs. Using current monitoring techniques, however, it can be difficult to tell when and if that point has been reached. A new device known as the Smart stethoscope lets clinicians know, by listening.  Read More

Work being conducted on the renal organoids, at the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacologi...

While it may not be possible to grow functional human kidneys in a lab just yet, scientists at Italy’s Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research have definitely come a step closer. In a paper published last week, they reported that they have created kidney-like “organoids,” that perform the same functions as kidneys when implanted in rats.  Read More

A model of the implantable bioartificial kidney shows the two-stage system

End-stage renal disease, or chronic kidney failure, affects more than 500,000 people per year in the U.S. alone, and currently is only fully treated with a kidney transplant. That number has been rising between five to seven percent per year and with just 17,000 donated kidneys available for transplant last year the waiting list currently exceeds 85,000, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network. Those who can’t secure a kidney for transplant are left reliant on kidney dialysis. An expensive and time consuming process that typically requires three sessions per week, for three to five hours per session, in which blood is pumped through an external circuit for filtration. In a development that could one day eliminate the need for dialysis, researchers have unveiled a prototype model of the first implantable artificial kidney.  Read More

Wearable Artificial Kidney prototype

A fashion statement it may not be, but the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) could prove a very smart accessory for those with serious kidney disease. A miniaturized dialysis machine that can be worn as a belt, the WAK concept allows patients with end stage renal failure the freedom to engage in daily activity while undergoing uninterrupted dialysis treatment.  Read More

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