The glomerulus: a kidney tree of life.

Our research mainly focuses on the preservation of kidney grafts outside the human body. Using this as a translational model, we attempt to explore delivery methods for future stem cell derived therapies to boost kidney function. During the quest to trace back stem cell products after the organ preservation period, one can come across beautiful structures of the kidney, such as this glomerulus.

Body area Kidney


Chronic kidney disease impacts ten percent of the population worldwide. With increasing life expectancy and chronic disease prevalence, the number will only keep growing. This urges us to look for options to halt disease progression and expand the pool of available donor organs. Our model offers the opportunity to study injured kidneys and investigate therapeutic options to improve their function.

reNEW research

Maintaining deceased donor kidneys ex situ is not a walk in the park, requiring continuous support of basic life functions like perfusion, oxygenation and nutrition. Currently, we are able preserve kidneys ex vivo for hours to days, depending on the perfusion temperature. This enables us to take the first step in exploring the delivery of stem cell derived products into our model.

Image description

In this picture, one can readily imagine the blood flowing through the yellow vessel, reaching the glomerular tree of capillaries where the process of filtration takes place.


Marleen Jacobs, MD. Current position: PhD student at the dpt of Nephrology, LUMC.
PhD supervision: prof. dr. A.J. Rabelink, dr. M.A. Engelse and dr. D.K. de Vries.