Researchers Grow a Working Rat Kidney
Scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital have grown and implanted a functional kidney into a live rat. Curious about growing organs? The recipe goes something like this: first, a rat kidney gets stripped of its functional cells, leaving behind a collagen scaffold. Next, blood and kidney cells from a newborn rat get introduced into the scaffold and cultured until the cells cover the collagen. Finally, implantation!
If this works, synthetic organs could remedy some of the problems associated with organ donation — both the short supply of donor organs and the possibility of host rejection.