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First podocyte toxicity assay now commercially available

in vitro testing of glomerular toxicity of drugs and toxins is now available using a validated podocyte model developed by Newcells’ kidney experts.

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Damage to the glomerular filtration barrier (GFB) results in protein leakage from the plasma into the urine, so called proteinuria, and is associated with loss of kidney function, which can progress to kidney failure.  The GFB contains endothelial cells and specialised podocyte cells with interdigitated foot processes forming a highly fenestrated structure, which act as a sieve. These podocytes play a crucial role in maintaining the structure and function of the glomerular filtration barrier. Therefore, it is critical to evaluate the effect of new chemical drugs on podocytes as part of their safety evaluation.Scientists at Newcells Biotech have established a robust, fully differentiated, fresh primary podocyte model to be able to offer in vitro assessment of drug-induced renal toxicity in the glomerulus.  This unique service evaluates podocyte injury and glomerular permeability in vitro.  It includes the measurement of podocyte damage biomarkers, cell viability, trans-epithelial electrical resistance (TEER) of the podocyte monolayer and podocyte permeability to FITC-dextran.

Why work with Newcells?

Rigorous standards

We have high scientific standards: all our models are fully characterised and undergo rigorous validations giving us full confidence in the data we generate for our clients.

Our podocyte model is composed of a monolayer of freshly isolated and fully differentiated podocytes. The podocyte model recapitulates the structure and function of the glomerular filtration barrier showing size and charge selectivity which can be modulated by the addition of know nephrotoxic drugs affecting the GFB such as puromycin and adriamycin.

Well-established supplier with leading experts

Our glomerulus team leader and head of kidney development, Dr Kathryn Garner, is an expert in podocytes and was the recipient of a Kidney Research UK fellowship. She has a deep understanding of podocyte biology and physiology.

Dr Garner is already working on a more complex multi-cellular glomerulus model containing podocytes, endothelial cells and mesangial cells.

Fully customised and timely service

We work closely with our customers to define a tailored study design that best delivers the required data outputs. With a regular supply of tissue, our study protocols are rapidly completed by our experienced team to provide robust data to help our clients make key decisions during drug discovery.

Interested in this service? Find out more by visiting our model page and read our other blogs on this exciting topic.

More about the science behind the model:


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12th October, 2022




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