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A critical review of current progress in 3D kidney biomanufacturing: advances, challenges, and recommendations

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posted on 2019-05-15, 08:40 authored by Nick Wragg, Liam Burke, Sammy WilsonSammy Wilson
The widening gap between organ availability and need is resulting in a worldwide crisis, particularly concerning kidney transplantation. Regenerative medicine options are becoming increasingly advanced and are taking advantage of progress in novel manufacturing techniques, including 3D bioprinting, to deliver potentially viable alternatives. Cell-integrated and wearable artificial kidneys aim to create convenient and efficient systems of filtration and restore elements of immunoregulatory function. Whilst preliminary clinical trials demonstrated promise, manufacturing and trial design issues and identification of suitable and sustainable cell sources have shown that more development is required for market progression. Tissue engineering and advances in biomanufacturing techniques offer potential solutions for organ shortages; however, due to the complex kidney structure, previous attempts have fallen short. With the recent development and progression of 3D bioprinting, cell positioning and resolution of material deposition in organ manufacture have never seen greater control. Cell sources for constructing kidney building blocks and populating both biologic and artificial scaffolds and matrices have been identified, but in vitro culturing and/or differentiation, in addition to maintaining phenotype and viability during and after lengthy and immature manufacturing processes, presents additional problems. For all techniques, significant process barriers, clinical pathway identification for translation of models to humans, scaffold material availability, and long-term biocompatibility need to be addressed prior to clinical realisation.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering

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Renal Replacement Therapy






WRAGG, N.M., BURKE, L. and WILSON, S.L., 2019. A critical review of current progress in 3D kidney biomanufacturing: advances, challenges, and recommendations. Renal Replacement Therapy, 5, Article 18.


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