Summary Acute kidney injury (AKI) represents a common and devastating problem in clinical medicine. A major reason is the lack of early biomarkers for AKI, and hence an unacceptable delay in initiating therapy. Fortunately, the application of innovative technologies has uncovered several novel biomarkers. The most promising of these are included in a putative AKI biomarker panel, consisting of neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin, interleukin-18, and kidney injury molecule-1. These biomarkers have completed initial validation, and have entered the prospective screening stage in the biomarker development process, facilitated by the development of commercial tools for their reproducible measurement across laboratories. The availability of a panel of validated biomarkers will revolutionize renal and critical care, and enable the practice of personalized and predictive medicine at an unprecedented level.