The Kidney Project proves its bioreactor can keep kidney cells alive for at least one week

It could one day free people from needing dialysis

Scientists have shown for the first time that kidney cells—housed in an implantable device called a bioreactor—can survive while implanted and mimic several important kidney functions without triggering the recipient’s immune system to go on the attack.

The findings were published in Nature Communications on August 29, marking an important step forward for The Kidney Project. School faculty member Shuvo Roy, PhD, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s William H. Fissell, MD, guided the bioartificial kidney from mere idea to functional prototype.

This new approach to treating kidney failure could one day free people from needing dialysis or having to take harsh drugs to suppress their immune system after a transplant.

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Can an Artificial Kidney Finally Free Patients from Dialysis?


School of Pharmacy, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences

About the School: The UCSF School of Pharmacy aims to solve the most pressing health care problems and strives to ensure that each patient receives the safest, most effective treatments. Our discoveries seed the development of novel therapies, and our researchers consistently lead the nation in NIH funding. The School’s doctor of pharmacy (PharmD) degree program, with its unique emphasis on scientific thinking, prepares students to be critical thinkers and leaders in their field.