Stem cell and regenerative science applications in the development of bioengineering of renal tissue.
A rising number of patients with acute and chronic renal failure worldwide have created urgency for clinicians and investigators to search out alternative therapies other than chronic renal dialysis and/or organ transplantation. This review focuses on the recent achievements in this area, and discusses the various approaches in the development of bioengineering of renal tissue including recent discoveries in the field of regenerative medicine research and stem cells. A variety of stem cells, ranging from embryonic, bone marrow, endogenous, and amniotic fluid, have been investigated and may prove useful as novel alternatives for organ regeneration both in vitro and in vivo. Tissue engineering, developmental biology, and therapeutic cloning techniques have significantly contributed to our understanding of some of the molecular mechanisms involved in renal regeneration and have demonstrated that renal tissue can be generated de novo with similar physiologic functions as native tissue. Ultimately all of these emerging technologies may provide viable therapeutic options for regenerative medicine applications focused on the bioengineering of renal tissue for the future.