Journal of Undergraduate Research


rebuilding kidneys, replacement kidneys, end-stage renal disease


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Mechanical Engineering


The motivation for this work was the tremendous need for replacement kidneys. End-stage renal disease (ESRD) affects over 500,000 patients in the U.S. and costs Medicare $30 Billion annually for dialysis and transplant procedures. Our overall objective was to engineer kidneys from decellularized porcine extracellular matrix (DPECM) scaffolds and cell cultures grown from human progenitor cells. The primary reason for using human cells was to develop non-immunogenic kidneys that can be used to treat the more than 100,000 chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients awaiting a transplant, thus obviating the need for post-transplant immunosuppressive therapy and the associated risks of acute rejection, graft dysfunction, developing an infection or malignancy, or graft failure of a transplanted donor kidney.