Artificial Kidney Designed By U.S Scientists To Start This Year

In late 2017, a wave that the trial of the innovation of the artificial kidney implants was out. According to the press release, the new bioartificial is currently in its latter stages. Once it is finalized, trials will start soon.

Every person especially patients who are currently waiting for a kidney donation are very optimistic. Others who are eagerly waiting for the success of this project are U.S. scientists who for a long time are working hard to see the invention come though.

When the trials finally start and are approved by the Food and Drug Administration, it will be a sigh of relief to thousands of patients.

Currently, there are thousands of patients across the world who are waiting to have a transplant. These people are not even sure if they will get a donor to give them one of their kidneys.

If they are lucky to get a kidney, usually donors require large sums of money in exchange. Nonetheless, if a patient finally gets the kidney, he/she must undergo several clinical tests to match his or her body with the new body organ.

According to one report, only 19 percent of patients who are seriously in need of the kidney finally get one. If they do, they spend quite a lot to get it. Before they finally get the organ implanted, they undergo several dialysis tests and examinations. This usually weakens the patient’s body.

With the new bioartificial kidney U.S doctors are designing, it is not necessary for patients to undergo a series of tests. What is more is that one does not have to spend a lot of time and money to wait for someone to sell them a kidney.

Many patients who finally acquire a kidney will never get a second one in case they need two. This is usually so because many patients need to find even one. But with the new bioartificial kidney, one can get two of them whenever possible.

U.S Scientists Behind the Development

Before FDA approves trials of first implantable artificial kidney on human beings, scientists working on the project have to conduct more preclinical trials.

FDA will only give an okay for human tests after the preclinical testing turns out positive. In a letter to the U.S scientists working on the project, FDA writes, “It is true that you did not expect the request for any additional evidence. It is, however, a measure of the revolutionary nature. Because currently there are no reviews of a similar technology as well as materials, it is understandable to the best of our ability that we request additional data to not only document but also to substantiate further the safety of this new revolutionary, thing, the bioartificial kidney.”

The bioartificial kidney is a project that is currently going on at the University of California in San Francisco (UCSF). Biomedical engineers in this university, led by Dr. Shivo Roy are working hand in hand with other scientists from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), and the University of Vanderbilt to see the project turns out a success.

These U.S scientists say that after working on the project for many years, they are optimistic that it will work out. They say that they have no doubt that FDA will approve the project thus paving way for human trials later this year or early 2019.

The quest to have an alternative kidney implant does not start now. Dr. Roy of the University of California in San Francisco with his colleagues have for the past 15 years been carefully studying, researching, and inventing the kidney project 2018.

These scientists continue to record tremendous success each day in their quest for this bioartificial implantable kidney. Although the quest is now 15 years old, these scientists first created a buzz in February 2017 when news about the bioartificial kidney was published.

Safer Than Dialysis

For many years, doctors advise patients with kidney complications to seek dialysis. It is true that this procedure saves thousands of patients, yes, even tens of thousands each year.

With many people developing kidney complications each year, scientists are immersing themselves in the subject. For this reason, it is important to point out that while dialysis saves lives, it also puts patients at risk.

Every time a patient is put into a dialysis machine, it is the start of the patient to continuously depend on the machine to clean their blood. In this case, dialysis does not allow for a continuous blood filtration, a process that is important to any normal human body.

Schematic design for an implantable artificial kidney device, using iliac vessels for arterial blood inflow and venous return, with ultrafiltratate draining into the bladder. Courtesy Shuvo Roy, UCSF.

Remember a continuous blood filtration, puts a person’s blood in the perfect healthy range. However, with a dialysis, the result is nutrient-depleted and ultra-cleansed blood.

The worst part of such a process is that a patient’s blood becomes more toxic each time they are about to go for the next dialysis. In this scenario, the patient becomes dependent on the dialysis machine to clean their toxic blood. The bioartificial kidney implant seeks to address this problem.

According to Dr. Roy and his associates, the artificial kidney will provide a continuous blood filtration without the danger of creating any toxic substances.

The artificial kidney will also reduce to a larger extent the possibility of kidney problems and other illness associated with kidney complications and disorders. It will also be able to increase the quality of life of those living with kidney problems because there will no longer be any need to go for a dialysis.

Bioengineers working on this project say that the first implantable artificial kidney contains kidney tubule cells bioreactors and a filter of high-efficiency silicon. Once rolled out for human trials, the device is likely to accommodate one liter of blood per minute.

An array of silicon membranes that are in an appropriate shape like that of the traditional kidney will filter the blood. Each time the device filters blood, it is able to extract water, sugars, electrolytes, and other toxins.

The second phase of intense cleaning and filtration takes place. This second filtration process involves lab-grown cells, which are responsible for reabsorbing most salts, water, and sugars taking them back into the individual’s blood stream.  In the end, it is urine that remains, which is finally directed to the reservoir, the bladder, them out of the human body.

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