Little Kidneys: Lab Grown Stem Cell-Derived Kidney Organoids

One way to treat kidney disease is by making new kidney tissue to replace damaged segments. In our lab, we grow tiny kidney-like structures from stem cells. However, these kidney structures need to connect with a host kidney for this to be successful. Our kidneys currently don’t have enough of the correct structures to connect, and my project thus aims to generate kidney organoids with the appropriate connecting structures.

Body area Kidney


Chronic kidney disease results in kidneys losing function over time, leading to severe kidney issues. While detection and management can slow disease progression, there are only two treatment options available. Unfortunately, only 1 in 4 patients receive a transplant, and undergoing dialysis severely reduces quality of life. There is thus a need for alternative therapies, one if which could be providing stem cell-derived kidney tissue to replace damaged kidneys.

reNEW research

Currently, I have examined multiple different ways to induce the appropriate structures in our kidney organoids. I am going to use these methods to create material to examine the best way to induce connectivity with a host kidney in the dish.

Image description

Clustered stem cell-derived kidney micro-organoids that display renal patterning and segmentation.


Dr Allara Zylberberg, Kidney Regeneration Laboratory, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, reNEW Melbourne.