A Novel, Translatable Platform for Renal Research
The Pebble LIVING-KIDNEY system replicates in-vivo physiology, circulating warm, nutrient rich, oxygenated blood through arteries and deoxygenated, nutrient depleted blood through veins. This restores metabolic function within the kidney, providing an ideal platform for testing renal therapies in a translatable model.
By facilitating the evaluation of immediate immune responses and offering pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profiling, the LIVING-KIDNEY system guides the development of safer and more effective treatments for clinical use.
Additionally, it supports the refinement of kidney-targeted delivery and personalised dosing strategies, essential for precision medicine. This provides a unique platform for mapping the biodistribution and tropism of therapies, as well as evaluating efficacy.
Kidneys are perfused with autologous blood and maintained under physiological conditions.
Our LIVING-KIDNEY System reproduces the living environment, providing an excellent platform for translatable testing. A warm, oxygenated blood-based perfusate is pumped through the renal vasculature, providing nutrients and restoring full metabolism and physiology.
We only use clinical gold standard protocols for organ preservation (including approved cold-storage and machine perfusion approaches). All solutions, consumables and hardware are FDA/MHRA/EMA approved.
Our expert multidisciplinary team are highly experienced in the field of kidney perfusion, so if you would like to test your innovation, please get in touch.
- Measure renal blood flow to assess perfusion and vascular function.
- Determine the kidney’s ability to filter blood by measuring the rate at which a substance (e.g., insulin or creatinine) is cleared from the bloodstream.
- Assess the kidney’s ability to reabsorb and secrete various substances, such as electrolytes, glucose, and proteins.
- Collect and analyse urine produced by the ex vivo kidney to assess its concentration, electrolyte balance, and presence of proteins or other markers of kidney function.
Structural & Functional Analysis
- Assess the overall appearance of the kidney, including color, size, shape, and any visible abnormalities.
- Examine thin slices of the kidney tissue under a microscope to evaluate the cellular structure, integrity of nephrons, presence of inflammation, fibrosis, or other pathologies.
- Obtain high-resolution images of kidney tissue to study ultrastructural features such as podocytes, glomerular basement membrane, and tubular cells.
- Measure electrical properties of kidney cells, such as membrane potential or ion channel activity, to evaluate cellular function and integrity.
- Quantify levels of metabolites or enzymes involved in key metabolic pathways within the kidney tissue to assess metabolic activity and integrity.
- Determine the rate of oxygen consumption by the kidney tissue as an indicator of metabolic activity and mitochondrial function.
- Drug Candidates: Test potential pharmaceutical compounds or small molecules for their ability to treat kidney diseases, such as hypertension, glomerulonephritis, or diabetic nephropathy.
- Therapeutic Agents: Evaluate the efficacy and safety of existing drugs or novel therapeutics targeting specific pathways involved in renal injury, inflammation, fibrosis, or regeneration.
- Cell Therapy: Assess the therapeutic potential of stem cells, progenitor cells, or other cell types for promoting renal regeneration, repairing damaged tissue, or modulating the immune response in kidney diseases.
- Gene Therapy: Investigate gene editing techniques, gene delivery vectors, or gene expression modulators for correcting genetic defects, modulating gene expression, or enhancing cellular functions in diseased kidneys.
- Tissue Engineering: Develop and test engineered renal tissues, scaffolds, or organoids for transplantation, drug screening, or modeling kidney diseases in vitro.
- Organ Perfusion Systems: Utilise ex vivo perfusion systems to support and maintain donor kidneys for transplantation, optimize organ preservation techniques, or assess the viability of marginal donor organs.
- Immunosuppressive Drugs: Evaluate the efficacy and safety of immunosuppressive agents for preventing organ rejection in kidney transplantation or treating autoimmune kidney diseases.
- Immune Cell Therapies: Investigate the therapeutic potential of immune cell-based therapies, such as regulatory T cells, mesenchymal stem cells, or dendritic cell vaccines, for modulating immune responses and promoting tolerance in kidney transplantation or autoimmune conditions.
- Biologics: Test monoclonal antibodies, cytokine inhibitors, or other biologic agents targeting specific molecules or pathways implicated in kidney diseases, such as cytokines, growth factors, or cell adhesion molecules.
- RNA-based Therapeutics: Explore the use of RNA interference (RNAi), antisense oligonucleotides, or mRNA-based therapies for modulating gene expression, splicing, or post-transcriptional regulation in diseased kidneys.
- Antioxidants and Anti-inflammatory Agents: Assess the efficacy of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory drugs, or free radical scavengers for reducing oxidative stress, inflammation, and tissue damage in acute kidney injury (AKI) or chronic kidney disease (CKD).
- Renin-Angiotensin-Aldosterone System (RAAS) Inhibitors: Investigate the renoprotective effects of RAAS inhibitors, such as angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), in preserving renal function and delaying disease progression.
- Precision Therapeutics: Utilize patient-derived ex vivo kidney models or organoids to test individualized treatment strategies, identify biomarkers of drug response, or predict treatment outcomes based on genetic, epigenetic, or metabolic profiles.
Biological Response & Pathology
- Determine the expression levels and localization of specific proteins within the kidney tissue, which can provide insights into various cellular processes and disease mechanisms.
- Mimic conditions of ischemia and reperfusion to assess the kidney’s susceptibility to injury and evaluate potential protective strategies.
- Expose the ex vivo kidney to drugs or toxins of interest to evaluate their effects on tissue viability, function, and cellular integrity.
- This involves sequencing the entire genome of the kidney tissue to identify variations in DNA sequence, such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), copy number variations (CNVs), and structural rearrangements.
- Genomic analysis can provide insights into genetic predispositions to kidney diseases, as well as the molecular mechanisms underlying renal physiology and pathology.
- Transcriptomic analysis involves quantifying and profiling the entire transcriptome of the kidney tissue, including messenger RNA (mRNA), non-coding RNA (such as microRNA and long non-coding RNA), and splice variants.
- This can help identify differentially expressed genes, alternative splicing events, and regulatory networks involved in kidney development, function, and disease.
- Epigenomic analysis examines the epigenetic modifications (e.g., DNA methylation, histone modifications, chromatin accessibility) that regulate gene expression patterns in the kidney tissue.
- Understanding epigenetic mechanisms can provide insights into how environmental factors influence renal health and disease susceptibility.
- Proteomic analysis aims to characterize the entire complement of proteins expressed in the kidney tissue, including post-translational modifications (PTMs) and protein-protein interactions.
- This can reveal changes in protein expression levels, modifications, and interactions associated with renal diseases, drug responses, and physiological processes.
- Metabolomic analysis involves profiling the small molecule metabolites present in the kidney tissue, providing insights into metabolic pathways, cellular processes, and metabolic signatures associated with renal health and disease states.
- Metabolomics can help identify biomarkers of kidney dysfunction, as well as metabolic alterations induced by drug treatments or environmental exposures.
- Lipidomic analysis focuses on the comprehensive profiling of lipids in the kidney tissue, including lipid species, classes, and lipid metabolism pathways.
- This can uncover lipid biomarkers of kidney diseases, as well as lipid-mediated signaling pathways involved in renal homeostasis and pathogenesis.
- Glycomic analysis characterises the entire repertoire of glycans and glycoproteins in the kidney tissue, revealing glycan structures, modifications, and glycosylation patterns.
- This can provide insights into glycan-mediated interactions, cell signaling, and glycosylation changes associated with renal diseases and physiological processes.
- Profile gene expression patterns within the kidney tissue using techniques such as RNA sequencing or quantitative PCR to identify changes associated with disease or experimental interventions.