Close this search box.

We are creating some awesome events for you. Kindly bear with us.

NTU develops miniature kidneys

Image credit: TODAY

A research team from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has developed miniature versions of kidneys for conducting drug tests.

Measuring between 1mm to 2mm in diameter, these small-sized kidneys have been extracted from the patient’s skin cells.

Tests conducted on them will aid researches in determining which drugs and treatments are best suited for the kidney disease-stricken patient.

NTU said that administering a drug or treatment, according to the patient’s condition is crucial as genetic errors causing kidney failure can differ amongst patients.

Conducting drug screening on patients will no longer be necessary as tests can be conducted on the miniature kidneys instead.

The patients from which the skin cells were extracted from had kidney failure as a result of a commonly inherited genetic disorder known as polycystic kidney disease. This disorder causes the formation of multiple cysts within the kidney.

The skin cells were grown in a laboratory and were modified to become self-replicating stem cells, which when placed under the right conditions could develop into miniature kidneys, like foetal kidneys.

NTU Singapore Assistant Professor Xia Yun led the research team. He said that the creation of miniature kidneys has allowed them to cater to each patient’s specific requirements by administering drugs that best suits them.

Dr Xia from the NTU Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKC Medicine) said that this research work can be applied to the study of other forms of kidney disease, such as diabetic nephropathy which is kidney damage resulting from diabetes.

There currently is not a comprehensive understanding of the origination of kidney blood vessel networks. However, the study of cells within the miniature kidneys has led researchers to uncover a new source of stem cells known as nephrons.

These cells play a part in the formation of these blood vessel networks.

NTU LKC Medicine Assistant Professor Foo Jia Nee said that nephrons can be studied to identify if there is a correlation or causation between being born with higher nephrons and receiving a higher level of protection.

Dr Xia added that the deep understanding of human embryonic kidney development will help researchers to create ways for generating a high birth nephron number for foetuses.

Scientists from NTU had previously developed luminescent imaging probes that allowed for the early detection of acute kidney failure.

The sensitivity of the probe allows for the faster tracking of changes in the biological process which are triggered by the onset of the condition.

The tracking is done through the injection of the renal probes into the bloodstream, which ‘light up’ after a period when they detect molecular changes which are caused by the onset of acute kidney failure.

This discovery paves the way for a new and non-intrusive method of detecting kidney failure.


Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private company, Qlik offers real-time data integration and analytics solutions, powered by Qlik Cloud, to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik serves more than 38,000 active customers in over 100 countries.


CTC Global Singapore, a premier end-to-end IT solutions provider, is a fully owned subsidiary of ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation (CTC) and ITOCHU Corporation.

Since 1972, CTC has established itself as one of the country’s top IT solutions providers. With 50 years of experience, headed by an experienced management team and staffed by over 200 qualified IT professionals, we support organizations with integrated IT solutions expertise in Autonomous IT, Cyber Security, Digital Transformation, Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, Workplace Modernization and Professional Services.

Well-known for our strengths in system integration and consultation, CTC Global proves to be the preferred IT outsourcing destination for organizations all over Singapore today.


Planview has one mission: to build the future of connected work. Our solutions enable organizations to connect the business from ideas to impact, empowering companies to accelerate the achievement of what matters most. Planview’s full spectrum of Portfolio Management and Work Management solutions creates an organizational focus on the strategic outcomes that matter and empowers teams to deliver their best work, no matter how they work. The comprehensive Planview platform and enterprise success model enables customers to deliver innovative, competitive products, services, and customer experiences. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, with locations around the world, Planview has more than 1,300 employees supporting 4,500 customers and 2.6 million users worldwide. For more information, visit


SIRIM is a premier industrial research and technology organisation in Malaysia, wholly-owned by the Minister​ of Finance Incorporated. With over forty years of experience and expertise, SIRIM is mandated as the machinery for research and technology development, and the national champion of quality. SIRIM has always played a major role in the development of the country’s private sector. By tapping into our expertise and knowledge base, we focus on developing new technologies and improvements in the manufacturing, technology and services sectors. We nurture Small Medium Enterprises (SME) growth with solutions for technology penetration and upgrading, making it an ideal technology partner for SMEs.


HashiCorp provides infrastructure automation software for multi-cloud environments, enabling enterprises to unlock a common cloud operating model to provision, secure, connect, and run any application on any infrastructure. HashiCorp tools allow organizations to deliver applications faster by helping enterprises transition from manual processes and ITIL practices to self-service automation and DevOps practices. 


IBM is a leading global hybrid cloud and AI, and business services provider. We help clients in more than 175 countries capitalize on insights from their data, streamline business processes, reduce costs and gain the competitive edge in their industries. Nearly 3,000 government and corporate entities in critical infrastructure areas such as financial services, telecommunications and healthcare rely on IBM’s hybrid cloud platform and Red Hat OpenShift to affect their digital transformations quickly, efficiently and securely. IBM’s breakthrough innovations in AI, quantum computing, industry-specific cloud solutions and business services deliver open and flexible options to our clients. All of this is backed by IBM’s legendary commitment to trust, transparency, responsibility, inclusivity and service.