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Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have made functioning rat kidneys in the laboratory, a bioengineering achievement that may one day lead to the ability to create replacement organs for people with kidney disease.
The scientists said the rat kidneys produced urine in the laboratory as well as when transplanted into rats. The kidneys were made by stripping donor kidneys of their cells and putting new cells that regenerate tissue into them. Stripping an organ leaves a natural scaffold of collagen and other compounds, called the extracellular matrix, which provides a framework for new cells and preserves the intricate internal architecture of the kidney as well as its basic shape.
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