Nanotechnology presents possibility of implantable artificial kidney

August 30, 2005

Researchers have developed a human nephron filter (HNF) that would eventually make possible a continuously functioning, wearable or implantable artificial kidney. This study is published in the latest issue of Hemodialysis International.

The HNF is the first application in developing a renal replacement therapy (RRT) to potentially eliminate the need for dialysis or kidney transplantation in end-stage renal disease patients. The HNF utilizes a unique membrane system created through applied nanotechnology. In the ideal RRT device, this technology would be used to mimic the function of natural kidneys, continuously operating, and based on individual patient needs.

No dialysis solution would be used in the device. Operating 12 hours a day, seven days a week, the filtration rate of the HNF is double that of conventional hemodialysis administered three times a week.

"The HNF system, by eliminating dialysate and utilizing a novel membrane system, represents a breakthrough in renal replacement therapy based on the functioning of native kidneys," say researchers. "The enhanced solute removal and wearable design should substantially improve patient outcomes and quality of life."

According to the study, nearly 900,000 patients worldwide suffer from end-stage renal disease and require treatment through dialysis or transplantation. Animal studies using this technology are scheduled to begin in the next 1-2 years with clinical trials to follow subsequently.
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This study is published in Hemodialysis International. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this study please contact medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.net.

Corresponding author and editor of the journal, Allen R. Nissenson, MD, can be reached for questions and interviews at anissenson@mednet.ucla.edu.

About the Journal
Hemodialysis International is published quarterly and contains original papers on clinical and experimental topics related to dialysis in addition to the Annual Dialysis Conference supplement. This journal is a must-have for Nephrologists, Nurses and Technicians worldwide. Quarterly issues of Hemodialysis International are included with your membership to the International Society for Hemodialysis. The journal contains original articles, review articles, commentary and latest news to keep readers completely updated in the field of hemodialysis. Edited by international and multidisciplinary experts, Hemodialysis International disseminates critical information in the field.

About Blackwell Publishing
Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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