Kidneys play a crucial role in filtering the blood. It is the organ that pumps out the impurities from the blood. If the kidneys are damaged it hinders the overall growth and health of the body. Primarily because they are also involved in regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and red blood cell production in the body. Thereby, it is important to find a perfect solution for kidney failure. Scientists have come up with an artificial kidney that can be implanted into the body.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center nephrologist and associate professor of medicine William H. Fissell IV, MD is the person behind building implantable artificial kidney.
The implantable artificial kidney will be placed exactly in the place of failed kidney. It performs all the functions of a kidney with accuracy and efficiency. It is a miniaturised version of the dialysis machine.
Fissell said, “We are creating a bio-hybrid device that can mimic a kidney to remove enough waste products, salt, and water to keep a patient off dialysis.” Fissell says the goal is to make it small enough, roughly the size of a soda can, to be implanted inside a patient’s body.
It consists of super-thin silicon nano filters. These nano filters help remove toxins salts and water from the blood. Further, it also consists of human kidney tubule cells which reabsorb water from the filtrate to control blood volume. Researchers hope to further miniaturise the device. It is all geared up for clinical trials.
This implantable artificial kidney could save thousands of patients from kidney failure. It could help patients who are waiting for a life-saving kidney transplant and patients who must undergo dialysis three times a week which is expensive and requires hours long stays at a clinic. The artificial kidney can be surgically implanted into the patient making kidney failure curable.