Kidney organoids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells bear the potential to be used as a regenerative medicine renal replacement therapy. Advances in developmental biology shed light on the complex cellular regulation during kidney morphogenesis in animal models resulting in insights that were incorporated in the development of groundbreaking protocols for the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells to kidney endpoints. Moreover, further optimization efforts to improve three-dimensional culture techniques resulted in the creation of kidney organoids. Before they can find their way to the clinic, there are critical challenges to overcome. Here, we will discuss recent advances and remaining challenges for kidney organoids to become successful in regenerative medicine. An innovative combination of tissue engineering techniques with more refined insights in the developing human kidney will ultimately lead to more mature and functional kidney organoids suitable as renal replacement therapy for patients with chronic kidney disease.
Full Access Link: npj Regenerative Medicine