Implantable Artificial Kidney Could Eliminate Need for Dialysis

By: | December 1st, 2017

Implantable Artificial Kidney

Image by ucsfpharmacy on Youtube

Worldwide, an estimated 200 million people have chronic kidney disease. Treatment options for patients are dialysis or a kidney transplant. The patients are treated with dialysis while they are waiting for a transplant.

Millions of people across the world sit for hours, hooked up to a dialysis machine that takes over the job of their kidneys. They just have two alternatives, get a kidney transplant or die. But there is a worldwide shortage of donor kidneys and patients have to wait for years for a viable transplant.

Patients often die while waiting for an organ transplant, so dialysis may be the only option until a transplant can be performed. To eliminate the need for dialysis, scientists are developing an implantable artificial kidney that can filter waste from the bloodstream like a real organ.

The need is urgent since the annual cost of dialysis is estimated at $90,000 per patient

Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, recently unveiled a prototype model of the first implantable artificial kidney.

Patients with chronic kidney failure could be freed from regular dialysis 

The artificial kidney will shrink the refrigerator-size dialysis machine into a small device the size of a coffee cup.

The device has a membrane that filters the blood and a bioreactor that’s primed with living kidney cells to interact with the body.

Researchers led by bioengineer Shuvo Roy received a major boost when the National Institutes of Health awarded a multimillion-dollar grant to this project for human testing.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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