Towards Safer Kidney Operations
Towards Safer Kidney Operations
  • Reporter Park So-mang
  • 승인 2024.05.22 15:35
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▲Prof. Cho and a graphical abstract of the experiment
▲Prof. Cho and a graphical abstract of the experiment

  POSTECH research team of Professor Dong-Woo Cho (ME), Jae Yun Kim (I-Bio), and Tugce Sen (ME) developed a supportive material that quickly ceases bleeding and facilitates wound closure inside the kidney, through collaborative research with the team of Prof. Jae Yeon Lee at the Department of Companion Animal Health in Daegu Haany University. The research was published in Biomaterials, a peer-reviewed journal covering biomaterials. 

  The kidney is an important organ that removes waste products and controls blood pressure. Although the kidney is known as the “silent organ,” due to the absence of subjective symptoms, if a kidney tumor is found in the early stages, partial nephrectomy surgery can remove it. However, excessive bleeding and infection may happen during the operation, and tissue damage, decline in kidney function, and other problems make the surgery and recovery challenging. 

  To develop kidney-specific hemostasis material, the research team used a decellularized extracellular matrix (dECM) derived from the kidney. dECM has a complex array of proteins in our body, so it recapitulates the native tissue microenvironment well, and its biocompatibility is also very high. With these benefits, dECM is widely used in studies like making artificial organs and recovering tissues. 

  At first, the research team analyzed the formation of kidney-derived dECM and verified the existence of factors related to hemostasis. Next, they successfully produced Cryogel – a sponge material with a porous structure – by mixing kidney-derived dECM and chemical crosslinkers. 

  The research team’s gel consisted of a highly porous structure with a large surface area, allowing it to absorb blood effectively. In animal experiments, tissue damage and necrotic areas, four weeks after partial nephrectomy, were up to three times smaller compared to the control group and conventional gelatin sponges. Additionally, the research team confirmed that characteristics such as biodegradation rate and biocompatibility with living tissues varied depending on the concentration of the crosslinking agent when making the kidney-specific gel.

  Prof. Cho emphasized the clinical value of dECM-based medical sponges, stating, “This research reaffirms the clinical utility of dECM-based medical sponges.” Furthermore, Prof. Jae Yeon Lee from Daegu Haany University expressed hopes that “this could dramatically reduce cases leading to end-stage renal failure among patients who underwent partial nephrectomy.”

  This study was conducted with support from the Ministry of Science and ICT’s Mid-career Researcher Program and the Nano-Material Technology Development Program.