Kidney disease is a worldwide public health problem. Renal failure follows several disease stages including acute and chronic kidney symptoms. Acute kidney injury (AKI) may lead to chronic kidney disease (CKD), which can progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD) with a mortality rate. Current treatment options are limited to dialysis and kidney transplantation; however, problems such as donor organ shortage, graft failure and numerous complications remain a concern. To address this issue, cell-based approaches using tissue engineering (TE) and regenerative medicine (RM) may provide attractive approaches to replace the damaged kidney cells with functional renal specific cells, leading to restoration of normal kidney functions. While development of renal tissue engineering is in a steady state due to the complex composition and highly regulated functionality of the kidney, cell therapy using stem cells and primary kidney cells has demonstrated promising therapeutic outcomes in terms of restoration of renal functions in AKI and CKD. In this review, basic components needed for successful renal kidney engineering are discussed, and recent TE and RM approaches to treatment of specific kidney diseases will be presented.
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