, 1:5,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 02 May 2012

Cryo-preserved porcine kidneys are feasible for teaching and training renal biopsy: “the bento kidney”



The use of patients as the primary teaching modality for learning procedures is being questioned. While there have been advancements in the technology used for performing needle biopsies in both native and transplanted kidneys, there has been little advancement in teaching and training tools. We have developed a portable ex-vivo kidney, the Bento Kidney, using cryo-preserved porcine kidneys for teaching this procedure.


The kidney is thawed, perfused by a pump, covered with skin for realistic haptic feedback, and then used with existing biopsy technology to teach the technique.


Thirty porcine kidneys were used in this pilot research, and nine were shipped to physicians at a distant facility. Renal biopsy was then performed using a core biopsy needle and ultrasound guidance. There was some leakage of fluid from all kidneys noted. All trainees felt that the model was realistic, and judged at a mean score of 8.7 (SD 0.8) on a scale of 1 (not useful) to 10 (very useful).


This feasibility study demonstrates that cryo-preserved porcine kidneys can be successfully used to teach and train renal biopsy techniques, and provides haptic feedback as well as realistic real-time ultrasound images. Further large scale studies are needed to demonstrate value from the educational point of view for nephrology and transplantation.