Cardiovascular Tissue Regeneration
Chronic kidney disease
Tackling chronic kidney disease.
Read about the research in Marianne Verhaar’s group.
Chronic kidney disease is a major burden for patients. In the department of Nephrology and Hypertension, we see many patients with chronic kidney disease.
This disease is a serious health care problem that will become even more prevalent over the next few years, with people getting older and growing numbers of patients suffering from diabetes, obesity, and arteriosclerosis.
Kidney damage is an important problem because it tends to get worse and can eventually lead to kidney failure and the need of dialysis or kidney transplantation. Furthermore, chronic kidney disease – even in a mild form – is associated with a high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Our research aims to tackle these problems using regenerative medicine, for instance by encouraging the body’s natural recovery within the kidney and the blood vessels. We investigate whether administration of stem cells, either derived from the bone marrow or kidney specific, can prevent progression of kidney disease. In collaboration with the Hubrecht Institute, we also investigate whether we can use a patient’s own stem cells (induced pluripotent stem cells) for clinical organ or renal tissue replacement. Together with the Dutch Kidney Foundation and others, we are developing a wearable artificial kidney. In addition, we run several projects on developing new regenerative strategies for treatment of vascular disease.
Chronic kidney disease is a major burden for patients – and expensive for society as well. Dialysis has been a great improvement: it keeps people alive, but it is not a very pleasant life, associated with many health problems. We should improve further, either by preventing people from reaching the stage of end-stage renal failure, or by improving renal replacement techniques. The kidney is an extremely complex organ, however, I expect that regenerative medicine will provide new treatment options to reduce the burden of chronic kidney disease for our patients.