PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Maine Medical Center’s Research Institute is using a $6.8 million federal grant to learn how to grow kidney tissue using adult stem cells.
The Scarborough-based Research Institute has the lead in the effort that represents the first step to creating a lab-grown kidney using the National Institutes of Health grant.
The National Kidney Foundation says more than 4,000 people in the U.S. died while waiting for kidney transplants in 2014.
Dr. Leif Oxburgh, a principal investigator at the Research Institute, tells the Portland Press Herald that the idea is feasible but that research is young, likening it to being in the “Model T stage of building a Lamborghini.”
Assisting with the research is Tufts University in Boston and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.