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Scientists Create Lab Made Kidneys and Provide Hope to Dialysis Patients

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Dialysis is a must for those facing kidney failure or kidney disease since they are no longer able to filter the waste, excess fluid, and toxins from the blood on their own. However, dialysis is a time consuming and arduous process, with some patients with reduced or non-functioning kidneys requiring several treatments per week. Other patients die waiting for a kidney donor organ that never comes. But scientists may have found a long-term solution for those who suffer by creating a functioning replacement kidney.

At this point, scientists have created the replacement kidney for rats only. The kidney does everything a natural kidney does and several labs are now competing to be the first to develop a replacment kidney for humans by using 3-D printing technology or through a "bioreactor" where cells are inserted into the existing kidney. In the U.S. there are 100,000 people waiting for an organ donation of a kidney, with 5,000 to 10,000 dying while waiting. Even some patients who do receive a kidney transplant die within 10 years because of organ failure.

The recent technology is very complicated, with some scientists using 3D printing technology to create cells for kidneys that can be used to create a total kidney replacement organ. Other scientists use real kidney material to obtain the cells needed to generate a kidney. The science behind it is extremely technical and overwhelmingly futuristic, but the end result is the most awe-inspiring. You can read more of the science behind it for yourself, rather than relying on me to convey it into lay terms (perhaps you can do it better than I can) but you will be amazed nevertheless.