People with kidney failure regularly need to check into a hospital to purify their blood through dialysis. The whole process is fairly time consuming.
But things are about to change. A new wearable dialysis system is going to be tested in a clinical trial in the U.S.
Dubbed the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK), this device is light enough to wear as a belt. It works just like a conventional dialysis machine. Blood is purified through a series of molecular filters to sieve out the waste and purified blood is then pumped back.
WAK is battery powered and it doesn’t require an external source of pure water. Typically, a conventional dialysis machine requires around 120 liters of fresh water for a single dialysis treatment; this device uses only 375 cubic centimeters of water. It continuously filters the water that was used and reintroduces it back into the device.
Weighing just about ten pounds, WAK has been developed by researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.