A US company will make kidney tissue on a 3D printer to help develop new drugs using technology developed in Queensland.

A US company is planning to produce kidney tissue on a 3D printer using technology developed in Queensland.

San Diego-based 3D bio-printing company Organovo has signed an agreement with the University of Queensland’s commercialisation company UniQuest.

The university’s Professor Melissa Little and her team last year grew a tiny kidney in a laboratory dish.

That will now be replicated through 3D bioprinting.

Prof Little said 3D printing of functional kidney tissue would enable better disease modelling and drug development.

“The sad fact is that most new drugs fail during testing in humans and a big reason for that is that they turn out to be toxic to kidneys,” she said.

“If we can test a drug for kidney toxicity before applying it to human trials, we’ll save a lot of time, effort and money.”

Prof Little said her ultimate goal would be to produce artificial kidneys for humans.