Sydney: Researchers have engineered human kidney cells from human embryonic stem cells, which could have applications in regenerative medicine, toxicology and modelling diseases.Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have successfully generated the renal cells under artificial conditions in the lab."In particular, we are interested in applying our technology to develop predictive in vitro drug testing and renal toxicity models as alternatives to animal testing," Jackie Y. Ying, executive director of IBN, was quoted as saying in a statement from the institute.IBN team leader and principal research scientist Daniele Zink said: "The kidney is a major target organ for drug-induced toxic effects. Therefore, it is important for pharmaceutical companies to find out early in the development phase whether their drugs would cause nephrotoxicity in humans."At present, human kidney cells are extracted directly from human kidney samples. However, this method is not efficient because such samples are limited, and the extracted cells die after a few cell divisions in the petri dish.
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