An artificial kidney that simulates hemodialysis has passed laboratory tests
A group of researchers at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) has developed and demonstrated a prototype of an artificial kidney that will help patients with kidney failure get rid of the hemodialysis procedure and concomitant medication. A bio-artificial kidney is implanted and works like a normal kidney, after which the patient does not need to take the drugs necessary for artificial suppression of immunity and for blood thinning. The implant includes a hemofilter consisting of silicon semiconductor membranes that purify the blood from toxins and a bioreactor in which artificial cells of the renal tubules perform some metabolic functions – regulate the volume of water, electrolyte balance and a number of others. The membranes also protect the cells from the aggression of the immune system.
In a series of tests, each of the parts was tested separately, and then together on the same device. Two main arteries pass through the artificial kidney – one receives blood for purification, and the other returns to the body after filtration. During the experiments, scientists proved that the bio-artificial kidney works, being satisfied only with the patient’s blood pressure, without the need to use special medical equipment. The team of scientists plans to focus on the further development of the technology, conduct in-depth pre-clinical tests, and eventually enter clinical trials.