Table of Contents
International Journal of Tissue Engineering
Volume 2013, Article ID 319476, 10 pages
Research Article

A Fibrin-Based Tissue-Engineered Renal Proximal Tubule for Bioartificial Kidney Devices: Development, Characterization and In Vitro Transport Study

1Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, 31 Biopolis Way, The Nanos, Singapore 138609
2BioSystems and Micromechanics (BioSyM) IRG, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART), 1 CREATE Way, No. 10-01 CREATE Tower, Singapore 138602
3School of Engineering, Republic Polytechnic, 9 Woodlands Avenue 9, Singapore 738964
4Department of Biomedical Engineering, Khalifa University of Science Technology and Research, P.O. Box 127788, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Received 31 August 2012; Accepted 24 October 2012

Academic Editor: Miguel Oliveira

Copyright © 2013 Chee Ping Ng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A bioartificial renal proximal tubule is successfully engineered as a first step towards a bioartificial kidney for improved renal substitution therapy. To engineer the tubule, a tunable hollow fiber membrane with an exterior skin layer that provides immunoprotection for the cells from extracapillary blood flow and a coarse inner surface that facilitates a hydrogel coating for cell attachment was embedded in a “lab-on-a-chip” model for the small-scale exploratory testing under flow conditions. Fibrin was coated onto the inner surface of the hollow fiber, and human renal proximal tubule epithelial cells were then seeded. Using this model, we successfully cultured a confluent monolayer, as ascertained by immunofluorescence staining for ZO-1 tight junctions and other proximal tubule markers, scanning electron microscopy, and FITC-inulin recovery studies. Furthermore, the inulin studies, combined with the creatinine and glucose transport profiles, suggested that the confluent monolayer exhibits functional transport capabilities. The novel approaches here may eventually improve current renal substitution technology for renal failure patients.