Biologist Benjamin Freedman uses the cells in his search for ways to regenerate failing kidneys
In his lab, Freedman nudges stem cells to develop into small assemblages of kidney tissue he calls organoids. The fluorescently marked cells allow the team to film the process.
“We can watch in real time, not just the cells moving around, but the organelles, the subcompartments inside the cells,” Freedman said. “It gives us a sense of how the structures of the cells are changing and moving during this complex process of kidney formation.”
He hopes to someday be able to extract cells from a patient with disease and reprogram them into healthy kidney cells that can be transplanted back into the body.