Regenerative strategies for kidney engineering

FEBS J. 2016 Sep;283(18):3303-24. doi: 10.1111/febs.13704. Epub 2016 Mar 24.


The kidney is the most important organ for water homeostasis and waste excretion. It performs several important physiological functions for homeostasis: it filters the metabolic waste out of circulation, regulates body fluid balances, and acts as an immune regulator and modulator of cardiovascular physiology. The development of in vitro renal disease models with pluripotent stem cells (both human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells) and the generation of robust protocols for in vitro derivation of renal-specific-like cells from patient induced pluripotent stem cells have just emerged. Here we review major findings in the field of kidney regeneration with a major focus on the development of stepwise protocols for kidney cell production from human pluripotent stem cells and the latest advances in kidney bioengineering (i.e. decellularized kidney scaffolds and bioprinting). The possibility of generating renal-like three-dimensional structures to be recellularized with renal-derived induced pluripotent stem cells may offer new avenues to develop functional kidney grafts on-demand.

Keywords: induced pluripotent stem cells; kidney disease; kidney engineering; pluripotent stem cells; renal differentiation.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bioprinting
  • Gene Editing
  • Humans
  • Kidney / physiology*
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy
  • Kidneys, Artificial
  • Models, Biological
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / transplantation
  • Regeneration / physiology*
  • Regenerative Medicine / methods
  • Regenerative Medicine / trends
  • Tissue Engineering / methods*
  • Tissue Engineering / trends
  • Tissue Scaffolds