Renal organoids represent one of the best models to study human renal development, organization, and tubular epithelial function ex vivo. Moreover, due to their resemblance to actual human renal epithelial cells and their proliferative capacity, renal organoids constitute a promising cell source for bioartificial and bioengineered kidneys. In our lab, we have recently developed organoids based on progenitor cells derived from adult human renal primary tissue and urine. These organoids can be very easily formed and expanded, they maintain their genomic stability and functionality over time, and they contain most of the cell types present in the adult human kidney. Future challenges entail further optimization of epithelial function, expansion and organization. In my project I aim at improving control of proliferation, differentiation (function) and spatial organization of our renal organoids with a focus on the role of biofunctionalized materials. I am currently investigating the above processes in the distinct subpopulations of progenitor and differentiated cells in the organoids by isolating them using FACS. In addition, together with Wim de Lau, I am investigating the effect of distinct matrix components on the above processes.
Techniques: qPCR, Western Blot, FACS, Immunofluorescence, Cloning, Organoid Culture