Hello, readers! It’s good to be back. As you know, the Kidney Lover adores kidneys. And when she finds a story that combines kidneys and creative thinking, then a-blogging she must go.
You may have read our recent research blog about bioengineered rat kidneys. Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital begin this innovative process by stripping rat kidneys of their existing cells, creating a scaffold for new tissue to grow.
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers have taken this scaffold concept one step further, suggesting that we could do the same thing with organs deemed unsuitable for transplant. Right now, doctors must reject almost 20% of deceased donor kidneys because they are diseased or because they have gone too long without oxygen or blood flow.
I must say, I love this idea from Wake Forest. (Be sure to read more about it here.) It is clever and resourceful. It promotes organ donation and honors the wishes of those who wouldn’t be able to donate after death ordinarily, and it would certainly mean a shorter wait time for those in need of a kidney.
The science of growing kidneys will, of course, take time to develop and perfect. Until then, we can be glad that researchers are looking for more and more ways to prevent kidney disease from happening in the first place. And we can take heart in good news from the organ donation front. According to a national Mayo Clinic poll, nearly 50% of Americans would consider donating a kidney to a stranger and 84% would consider donating to a family member or friend. In the U.K., the number of people donating their organs after death has gone up 50% in the last five years. Living kidney donations to strangers in the U.K. have almost tripled in the last year.
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Let’s wipe out kidney disease together!