Big breakthrough in the effort to create lab-grown organs for transplant

Very cool! Researchers have grown rat kidneys in the lab and transplanted them into live rats, where they seem to be working very well. This will hopefully lead to growing kidneys for human patients who can’t find donors.

They do it by taking a normal rat kidney, dissolving the cells away so that only the collagen “scaffold” is left, then grow new kidney cells on it using a “starter” of cells from the intended recipient. That means there’s almost no risk of rejection. Terrific news! :cool:

Wow, can I pre-order a pancreas?

Impressive. If it turns out that it can be implemented on humans and on a large scale, it will be revolutionary. :slight_smile:

I’d like to place a pre-order for a new pancreas too. Also, I need a full set of tooth buds (so I can be teething while I flash my AARP card), and how about a new set of eyes? I’m really nearsighted.

Oh, hell, just give me the works. On a taller skeleton, please.

Add to the above a new sheet of skin and a new head of hair that won’t molt. Would it also be possible to turn my fat accumulation gene down several notches while raising my level of activity? (Perhaps a new pancreas would do the trick!)

Yeah, the works sounds good to me too, every fifteen years or so ad infinitum.

Oh boy… I can just imagine the new spam that will be here in a few years with regards to a particular organ they will be willing to grow for you and sell you!

How large a scale will it need to be (put another way, how many kidney transplants are needed in a given year)? If it’s doable at all, it could be a great supplement to the donors and lists we currently use. If it’s easier or better, it could replace donors, but I don’t know if that would qualify as “large scale”.

Notice that first part, you still need a real kidney to start the process. It sounds like anybody could be a donor now, though. I wonder if you could donate to yourself; have a failing kidney removed, live on the other one for a while while the removed one is scaffold-ized and regrown, then put it back in.

I’d like a spare liver so I can REALLY increase my alcohol intake. And lately, I’ve been missing smoking, so a heart and lungs would be good too.

Presumably there’s some kind of layaway program?

I’d like to order a new penis; this one is way too big.

There are about 16,000 kidney transplants done each year in the US, but the number of patients who NEED a transplant is probably much higher.

At any given time there is approximately 80,000 people waiting for a new shiny kidney (I’m not sure if that’s universal or national - it’s my understanding that in Minnesota there is approximately 3500 waiting at any given time, so I’m guessing national). I am one of these people.

I have no known living donors that are a match. Waiting for a dead donor may take years and it can be a crap shoot. Legally, I can deny a kidney, but it lessens my chance of getting one down the road.

Something like this would be amazing - it would negate the whole “needs to match on X amount of criteria”. Donors would still be needed (if you need a transplant it’s not that you have one good and one bad kidney - both have to be dying), but the matching aspect would be gone.

Well, they say the sexiest organ is the brain.

I was thinking of growing other organs, hearts for instance, for which there are few available donors. If you can grow a new heart made of your own cells on a “scaffold” made from any random heart, it would be life-changing for a lot of people. If it becomes relatively easy to do, maybe a transplant could become a better choice than some heavy surgeries, for instance. So, more people might benefit from it than those who currently receive a transplant.

It looks like a first step towards something we’ve been waiting for a long time: growing new organs, maybe limbs, maybe nervous tissues (for paraplegics, for instance). Who knows?

It also leaves open the possibility of using animal organs. Collagen is collagen; the species doesn’t matter. Heart valves from pigs work well enough for us, what about entire pig hearts?

I would like to place a reservation on a new pancreas and two new kidneys. Where do I sign up?

I have the same question as Robot Arm (nice subject-username combo). Can they just take one kidney at a time from the same person, strip it doen and rebuild? Cause that’d be nice. Can we start now before I wear mine down to stumps.

Given work with 3D bio-printing, needing a donor scaffold might not be necessary either at some point in the future.

We just need to get the scaffold-printing people together with the kidney-growing people, and Bob’s your uncle.
Yes, I’m aware it’s going to take more than that.