Journal of Undergraduate Research


re-epithelialization, whole porcine kidney scaffold, organ transplantation


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology


Chemical Engineering


An estimated 20 million adults (approximately 10% of all individuals over the age of 18) in the United States suffer from some level of chronic kidney disease (CKD), making CKD the 9th leading cause of death in the United States (1). The only successful treatment for end-stage renal failure is transplantation from a donor with similar blood antigen makeup, while living the remainder of their lives receiving immunosuppressive therapy. Unfortunately, individuals awaiting a kidney transplant outnumber viable donations. Scientists have been tasked with discovering and developing methods to answer this growing need. One promising method is the decellularization of porcine (pig) kidneys, followed by seeding patient specific cells onto these organ scaffolds. After cell proliferation on these scaffolds, these recellularized scaffolds are then transplanted into patients. This method has been successful with flat and tubular-shaped organs, but mixed success has been observed with more complex organs such as kidney. The largest obstacle in dealing with whole organ recellularization is ensuring the seeded cells are evenly distributed throughout the entire kidney scaffold. We present a novel method of altering the pressure within the recellularization apparatus (bioreactor) to generate a more homogeneous seeding of cells throughout the kidney structure.