Researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) have developed the first animal-free screening platforms capable of predicting the toxic effects of compounds on the human kidney accurately. Their latest technological advancement involves the use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) in their renal screening platform (Kandasamy et al., 2015). To realize this breakthrough, the scientists have developed an effective way of producing human renal cells from iPSCs, and have combined this with machine learning methods that improved the automated and accurate prediction of nephrotoxicity. In addition to predicting toxicity, the novel iPSC-based platform also correctly identifies injury mechanisms, which can help to advance understanding of the tested compounds.
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