Kidney tissue regeneration using bioactive scaffolds incorporated with differentiating extracellular vesicles and intermediate mesoderm cells

Seung Gyu Cha, Won Kyu Rhim, Jun Yong Kim, Eun Hye Lee, Seung Yeon Lee, Jeong Min Park, Jeoung Eun Lee, Hyeji Yoon, Chun Gwon Park, Bum Soo Kim, Tae Gyun Kwon, Youngmi Lee, Dong Ryul Lee, Dong Keun Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: To overcome the limitations of current alternative therapies for chronic kidney disease (CKD), tissue engineering-mediated regeneration strategies have demonstrated the possibilities for complete kidney tissue regeneration. Given the challenges associated with the reproducibility of renal basal cells, the incorporation of intermediate mesoderm (IM) cells and bioactive materials to control bioactivities of cells with supported scaffolds should be considered as a viable approach to enable the regeneration of the complex kidney structure via renal differentiation. Methods: We developed PMEZ scaffolds by combining crucial bioactive components, such as ricinoleic acid-grafted Mg(OH)2 (M), extracellular matrix (E), and alpha lipoic acid-conjugated ZnO (Z) integrated into biodegradable porous PLGA (P) platform. Additionally, we utilized differentiating extracellular vesicles (dEV) isolated during intermediate mesoderm differentiation into kidney progenitor cells, and IM cells were serially incorporated to facilitate kidney tissue regeneration through their differentiation into kidney progenitor cells in the 3/4 nephrectomy mouse model. Results: The use of differentiating extracellular vesicles facilitated IM differentiation into kidney progenitor cells without additional differentiation factors. This led to improvements in various regeneration-related bioactivities including tubule and podocyte regeneration, anti-fibrosis, angiogenesis, and anti-inflammation. Finally, implanting PMEZ/dEV/IM scaffolds in mouse injury model resulted in the restoration of kidney function. Conclusions: Our study has demonstrated that utilizing biodegradable PLGA-based scaffolds, which include multipotent cells capable of differentiating into various kidney progenitor cells along with supporting components, can facilitate kidney tissue regeneration in the mouse model that simulates CKD through 3/4 nephrectomy. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number126
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s).


  • Differentiating extracellular vesicle (dEV)
  • Intermediate mesoderm (IM)
  • Kidney differentiation
  • Kidney tissue regeneration
  • PMEZ scaffold


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