Cellular extrusion bioprinting improves kidney organoid reproducibility and conformation

Nat Mater. 2021 Feb;20(2):260-271. doi: 10.1038/s41563-020-00853-9. Epub 2020 Nov 23.


Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to kidney organoids brings the prospect of drug screening, disease modelling and the generation of tissue for renal replacement. Currently, these applications are hampered by organoid variability, nephron immaturity, low throughput and limited scale. Here, we apply extrusion-based three-dimensional cellular bioprinting to deliver rapid and high-throughput generation of kidney organoids with highly reproducible cell number and viability. We demonstrate that manual organoid generation can be replaced by 6- or 96-well organoid bioprinting and evaluate the relative toxicity of aminoglycosides as a proof of concept for drug testing. In addition, three-dimensional bioprinting enables precise manipulation of biophysical properties, including organoid size, cell number and conformation, with modification of organoid conformation substantially increasing nephron yield per starting cell number. This facilitates the manufacture of uniformly patterned kidney tissue sheets with functional proximal tubular segments. Hence, automated extrusion-based bioprinting for kidney organoid production delivers improvements in throughput, quality control, scale and structure, facilitating in vitro and in vivo applications of stem cell-derived human kidney tissue.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bioprinting*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / cytology
  • Kidney Tubules, Proximal / metabolism*
  • Organoids / cytology
  • Organoids / metabolism*
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / metabolism*

Associated data

  • figshare/10.6084/m9.figshare.12957122.v1