Add kid­neys to the list of what we may be re­cy­cling

Modern Healthcare - - OUTLIERS ASIDES & INSIDES -

Out­liers knows hos­pi­tals are work­ing hard to be­come “green.” But now comes a sug­ges­tion that pushes a few lim­its: Re­searchers have pro­posed ex­pand­ing the scope of re­cy­cling to in­clude dis­carded hu­man kid­neys, say­ing they may serve a role in build­ing re­place­ment or­gans.

Re­searchers from Wake For­est Bap­tist Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Win­ston- Salem, N.C., wrote in the jour­nal Bio­ma­te­ri­als that al­most 20% of kid­neys can’t be used for trans­plant. The re­searchers in­stead pro­pose that those kid­neys be cleaned by pump­ing a mild de­ter­gent through them and then us­ing a process called de­cel­lu­lar­iza­tion to re­move all cells but the or­gan struc­ture. Then a pa­tient’s own cells could be added to the “scaf­fold” of the or­gan struc­ture, cre­at­ing an or­gan that the­o­ret­i­cally would be eas­ier for the pa­tient’s body to ac­cept.

“Th­ese dis­carded or­gans may rep­re­sent an ideal plat­form for in­ves­ti­ga­tions aimed at man­u­fac­tur­ing kid­neys for trans­plant,” Dr. Giuseppe Or­lando, the study’s lead author and a trans­plant sur­geon at Wake For­est Bap­tist Med­i­cal Cen­ter, said in a news re­lease.

GETTY IM­AGES

Un­der the pro­ce­dure, a pa­tient’s own cells would be added to a kid­ney “scaf­fold” to cre­ate one more likely for the body to ac­cept.

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