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Using Stem Cell Therapy as an Effective Treatment for Chronic Kidney Disease By Srivalli Kantamneni


In the United States alone, 1 in 7 or 37 million people are estimated to suffer from Chronic Kidney Disease. The population affected often falls under the bracket of “low-income”, making the cost of dialysis, even with insurance- exorbitant- lying anywhere from approximately $10000 to $90000. With dialysis and transplants currently being the primary effective cures for this progressive, end-game disease, research is being conducted in multi-disciplinary fields. Research with mesenchymal stem cells has taken center stage in the past decade, which is the main focus of this paper. By analyzing treatment options and various stem cell research documents, it can be concluded that mesenchymal stem cells carry renotrophic characteristics, making them ideal for regeneration purposes. Mesenchymal Stem Cells are adult stem cells derived from sources like the umbilical cord, bone marrow, and fat tissue, dissolving ethical problems. I have investigated possible solutions, including using laser technology to build organs and gene therapy to combat the absence of the p53 gene. While there needs to be much more testing and research, my paper addresses possible options that would provide a more efficient, cost- and time-effective treatment option for those suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease.


Over the progression of Chronic Kidney Disease, your nephrons degenerate rapidly, causing irreversible damage. Chronic Kidney Disease(CKD) is defined by the degeneration of your kidney, resulting in a glomerular filtration rate(GFR) of less than 60 mL/min per 1.73 m^2 of blood for at least three consecutive months. More than 1 in 7 Americans and 8-16% of people worldwide suffer from CKD, according to CDC reports. More often than not, the diagnosis doesn’t occur until the disease has progressed to more advanced stages due to the obscurity of symptoms, resulting in less reliable treatment. Tests to diagnose CKD are taken on urine samples to detect protein. Excessive amounts of protein in urine samples suggest extensive renal damage. Healthy kidneys filter proteins which are larger molecules to be reabsorbed into the bloodstream. As the kidneys degenerate, cell and nephron count quickly decline, and necessary molecules are excreted via the urine [1].

Figure 2. Healthy vs. Unhealthy Kidney. Figure 2 shows the difference between a healthy and a damaged kidney.

Figure 2.1 shows a healthy kidney that filters the urine and wastes out but keeps the necessary nutrients in the bloodstream. Figure 2.2 shows that the glomerulus of the kidney degenerates and lets the protein leave the body via urine.

Some recognizable symptoms like edema-fluid congregating in your extremities and urination problems are unlikely to present in the early stages and general symptoms like itchiness, dry skin, weight loss, and fatigue are more common, but unlikely to be reported. Due to this, the speed and occurrence of progression is immense. But there are options for the future that may provide viable treatment pathways [9]. Stem Cell research has been a developing field. Scientists have succeeded in creating a rat kidney using human induced pluripotent endothelial cells. They have also used micro-vesicles that are exosomes from mesenchymal stem cells as a therapeutic treatment for the disease [6]. Mesenchymal stem cells have unique renotrophic characteristics, as well as an invisibility to the immune system that has been proven both beneficial and a barrier when it comes to building an artificial organ and injecting treatment into patients [13].