Kidney Organoids as Disease Models: Strengths, Weaknesses and Perspectives

Ricardo Romero-Guevara, Adonis Ioannides, Christodoulos Xinaris

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chronic kidney disease is a major global health problem, as it affects 10% of the global population and kills millions of patients every year. It is therefore of the utmost importance to develop models that can help us to understand the pathogenesis of CKD and improve our therapeutic strategies. The discovery of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) and, more recently, the development of methods for the generation of 3D organoids, have opened the way for modeling human kidney development and disease in vitro, and testing new drugs directly on human tissue. In this review we will discuss the most recent advances in the field of kidney organoids for modeling disease, as well as the prospective applications of these models for drug screening. We will also emphasize the impact of CRISPR/cas9 genome engineering on the field, point out the current limitations of the existing organoid technologies, and discuss a set of technical developments that may help to overcome limitations and facilitate the incorporation of these exciting tools into basic biomedical research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number563981
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 4 Nov 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • 3D cell culture
  • disease modeling
  • hiPSC
  • kidney
  • organoid
  • stem cells


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