The Use of Fibrous, Supramolecular Membranes and Human Tubular Cells for Renal Epithelial Tissue Engineering: Towards a Suitable Membrane for a Bioartificial Kidney

Authors

  • Patricia Y. W. Dankers,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
    2. Current address: Institute for Complex Molecular Systems, and Laboratory of Chemical Biology, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, NL-5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands
    • Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands. Fax: +31 40 247 8367.
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    • P. Y. W. Dankers and J. M. Boomker contributed equally to this work.

  • Jasper M. Boomker,

    1. Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
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    • P. Y. W. Dankers and J. M. Boomker contributed equally to this work.

  • Ali Huizinga-van der Vlag,

    1. Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Frank M. M. Smedts,

    1. Laboratory of Pathology, Foundation of Collaborating Hospitals of Eastern Groningen, Grintweg 71, NL-9675 HJ Winschoten, The Netherlands
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  • Martin C. Harmsen,

    1. Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
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  • Marja J. A. van Luyn

    1. Department of Pathology and Medical Biology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Hanzeplein 1, NL-9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands
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Abstract

A bioartificial kidney, which is composed of a membrane cartridge with renal epithelial cells, can substitute important kidney functions in patients with renal failure. A particular challenge is the maintenance of monolayer integrity and specialized renal epithelial cell functions ex vivo. We hypothesized that this can be improved by electro-spun, supramolecular polymer membranes which show clear benefits in ease of processability. We found that after 7 d, in comparison to conventional microporous membranes, renal tubular cells cultured on top of our fibrous supramolecular membranes formed polarized monolayers, which is prerequisite for a well-functioning bioartificial kidney. In future, these supramolecular membranes allow for incorporation of peptides that may increase cell function even further.

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