Scientists hailing from the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) have been putting their efforts into a revolutionary approach for helping chronic kidney disease sufferers get a firmer grasp on their situation and repair any tissues that may have been ravaged by the disease.
This solution comes in the form of human amniotic fluid-derived stem cells, which the scientists have posited would not only repair tissue, but even help recover kidney function that has been lost. The researchers at WFIRM have been at the cutting edge of stem cell research for quite some time, with their teams also pioneering the equally impressive 3D bioprinting of organs and tissues.
According to the scientists, the amniotic fluid-derived stem cells are unique in that they can be utilized as universal cell sources, meaning they can fill in for numerous different types of cells, while simultaneously benefiting the entirety of the organism with anti-inflammatory properties and potential regeneration.
Embryonic stem cells, which have been at the forefront of ethical debates and have also been known to provoke negative immune system reactions are different from these cells, taken only from the amniotic fluid not the embryo itself. These stem cells tend to be much safer and are less likely to result in complications.
The main highlight of the team’s study was the noted improvement of kidney function when the amniotic fluid stem cells were injected into a diseased kidney in a pre-clinical model. The subsequent biopsy found reduced damage to the capillary clusters where nephrotoxins are filtered.
Although more research needs to be conducted, initial findings have been very promising and could lead to significant advancements in the field of chronic kidney disease treatment, especially for those on dialysis whose only other option is transplantation.
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