Prospect for kidney bioengineering: Shortcomings of the status quo

Andrea Peloso, Ravi Katari, Sean V. Murphy, Joao P. Zambon, Anna Defrancesco, Alan C. Farney, Jeffrey Rogers, Robert J. Stratta, Tommaso M. Manzia, Giuseppe Orlando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Dialysis and renal transplantation are the only two therapeutic options offered to patients affected by end-stage kidney disease; however, neither treatment can be considered definitive. In fact, dialysis is able to replace only the filtration function of the kidney without substituting its endocrine and metabolic roles, and dramatically impacts on patient's quality of life. On the other hand, kidney transplantation is severely limited by the shortage of transplantable organs, the need for immunosuppressive therapies and a narrow half-life. Regenerative medicine approaches are promising tools aiming to improve this condition.Areas covered: Cell therapies, bioartificial kidney, organ bioengineering, 3D printer and kidney-on-chip represent the most appealing areas of research for the treatment of end-stage kidney failure. The scope of this review is to summarize the state of the art, limits and directions of each branch.Expert opinion: In the future, these emerging technologies could provide definitive, curative and theoretically infinite options for the treatment of end-stage kidney disease. Progress in stem cells-based therapies, decellularization techniques and the more recent scientific know-how for the use of the 3D printer and kidney-on-chip could lead to a perfect cellular-based therapy, the futuristic creation of a bioengineered kidney in the lab or to a valid bioartificial alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-558
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Opinion on Biological Therapy
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2015


  • 3D printing
  • Bioartificial kidney
  • Kidney bioengineering
  • Kidney on a chip
  • Kidney regeneration
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Stem cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine(all)

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