Development of an artificial kidney for early detection of drug toxicity

April 12, 2023
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) research.

The kidney plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis within the body by eliminating toxic and superfluous substances in the bloodstream, including waste generated during metabolic processes, through urine. Nevertheless, toxicity can also be induced in the kidney from certain medications. Recently, a research team from POSTECH has engineered an artificial kidney that allows for the early detection of adverse drug reactions.

The POSTECH research team led by Professor Dong-Woo Cho and Professor Jinah Jang (Department of Mechanical Engineering) fabricated a glomerular microvessel-on-a-chip, which includes glomerular endothelial cells, podocyte layers, and a glomerular basement membrane (GBM) using a single step fabrication process. The research findings have been published in the esteemed journal, Biofabrication.

The team successfully fabricated a glomerular microvessel-on-a-chip that recapitulates the intricate arrangement of the glomerular endothelial cells, podocyte layers, and GBM in a single step. This perfusable chip permits the co-culture of monolayer glomerular endothelium and podocyte epithelium, which demonstrate mature functional markers of glomerular cells. Moreover, the proper interactions between these cells lead to the production of GBM proteins, the key components of the GBM in vivo. Additionally, the team assessed the selective permeability capacity, a hallmark function of the glomerular filtration barrier in this novel glomerular model as well as evaluated the response of this model to Adriamycin- and hyperglycemia-induced injury.

Pohang University of Science and Technology release on Newswise