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MSC Therapy for AKI Treatment

The conventional intravascular administration of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) leads to the low persistence of cells and a shortened therapeutic window. Now, researchers led by Biju Parekkadan (Rutgers University, Piscataway, NJ, USA) describe the immobilization of MSCs within an ex vivo drug delivery device that circulates the patient's blood akin to a dialysis procedure. In their recent STEM CELLS Translational Medicine study, Swaminathan et al. report the first use of this technology in human patients with acute kidney injury (AKI). Overall, the data from this phase I/II trial support the therapeutic hypothesis that ex vivo delivery of MSC-secreted factors leads to immunomodulation, reprogramming of immune cells, and subsequent protection of kidney injury.