In pig embryos, researchers were able to develop Pioneering efforts kidneys that were primarily composed of human cells. This was a significant step toward the development of human kidneys and possibly other organs that could be transplanted into humans.
The procedure involves genetically modifying pig embryos before introducing human cells that would later develop into kidney tissue inside the animals. It was revealed in a new study that was published on Thursday in the academic journal Cell Stem Cell. It’s the first time, according to the researchers involved, that a solid human organ has been grown within another animal.
The study found that after 28 days of development, the embryos started to generate kidneys in surrogate. Pig moms that were largely made up of human cells and had a normal shape.
We spent five years doing that, according to senior research author Miguel Esteban. The Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health’s principal investigator.
According to Esteban, we genetically altered the pig to make room for the human cells to develop with less competition. From pig cells and we genetically altered the human cells to enable them to thrive in a setting that was not their native one.
According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, the most often donated human organ is the kidney. With more than 88,500 persons in the United States now on the transplant waiting list.
With pigs acting as virtual incubators, the experimental research aims to employ this technology to create organs from a specific patient’s cells, resulting in a far lower risk of rejection. The authors stressed that it would be a difficult procedure that might take years.
In the long run, we hope to create fully developed human organs that can be utilized for transplantation or disease modeling. But this will take time, and we will probably run into more technological challenges as we advance, said Esteban. However, we believe it is doable.