Nav: Home

Taking steps toward a wearable artificial kidney

October 17, 2018

There just aren't enough kidney transplants available for the millions of people with renal failure. Aside from a transplant, the only alternative for patients is to undergo regular dialysis sessions to clear harmful cellular waste from their bodies. Now, scientists report in ACS Nano a new urea sorbent that could accelerate progress toward the development of a lightweight, wearable artificial kidney with the potential to make dialysis more convenient, comfortable and effective.

Dialysis typically requires three visits every week to a health care center, where patients are tethered to a machine for hours. Not only is this cumbersome, but health outcomes with the treatment are poor. The problem is that kidneys filter blood around the clock; dialysis just can't do as good of a job when performed for only a few times each week. Scientists are eager to develop an artificial kidney that could be worn all the time, continuously performing dialysis. One obstacle, though, is urea, which must be removed to maintain the body's nitrogen balance. Currently, dialysis deals with urea using an enzyme that breaks the molecule down into ammonia and carbon dioxide, but the amount of material required to perform this reaction is too big and heavy to be comfortably worn on the body. So, Babak Anasori, Yury Gogotsi and colleagues wanted to try a new approach.

The researchers turned to an emerging nanomaterial called MXene, two-dimensional nanosheets of metal carbides. Instead of breaking down urea, MXene can capture the compound by sandwiching urea molecules between its nanometer-thin layers. At room temperature, the material could capture 94 percent of urea from the discarded materials from dialysis machines. When tested at body temperature (98.6 F), the material could hold onto even more urea. Furthermore, MXene did not kill cells, suggesting that it could be safely used in people. The researchers conclude that the material could help turn the concept of a comfortably wearable artificial kidney into a reality.
-end-
The authors acknowledge funding from the NOMAD project supported by the British Council and the U.K. Department for Business, Innovation & Skills through the Global Innovation Initiative and the U.S. Department of Energy.

The abstract that accompanies this study is available here.

The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

To automatically receive news releases from the American Chemical Society, contact newsroom@acs.org.

Follow us on Twitter | Facebook

American Chemical Society

Related Dialysis Articles:

Automated wearable artificial kidney may improve peritoneal dialysis
Peritoneal dialysis performed with an automated wearable artificial kidney was safe and effective for removing toxins from the blood of patients with kidney failure.
Survival following switch from urgent in-center hemodialysis to home dialysis
Few patients who start urgent and unplanned dialysis in clinical centers switch to home dialysis.
Is ownership of dialysis facilities associated with access to kidney transplants?
An analysis that included data for nearly 1.5 million patients with end-stage kidney disease looked at whether ownership of dialysis facilities was associated with patients' access to kidney transplants.
At-home dialysis improves quality of life
The rate of people starting voluntary at-home peritoneal dialysis rose from 15% to 34% over 10 years at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, providing a convenient and safe way to manage advanced-stage kidney disease compared with center-based hemodialysis, according to research published today in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Hydration sensor could improve dialysis
Researchers from MIT and Massachusetts General Hospital have now developed a portable sensor that can accurately measure patients' hydration levels using a technique known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) relaxometry.
Uncovering possible role of polyphosphate in dialysis-related amyloidosis
Researchers from Osaka University found that the low concentrations of the naturally occurring biopolymer, polyphosphate (polyP), induces amyloid formation from β2 microglobulin under both acidic and neutral conditions but by different mechanisms.
Study compares scheduled vs. emergency-only dialysis among undocumented immigrants
A unique opportunity made it feasible for uninsured patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) who received emergency-only dialysis in Dallas, Texas, to enroll in private, commercial health insurance plans in 2015 and that made it possible for researchers to compare scheduled vs. emergency-only dialysis among undocumented immigrants with ESRD.
Study compares dialysis reimbursement around the globe
Dialysis reimbursement policies in most countries are focused on conventional in-center hemodialysis, although home hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis might contribute to quality of life and cost savings.
Elderly patients on dialysis have a high risk of dementia
Older kidney disease patients who are sick enough to require the blood-filtering treatment known as dialysis are at high risk of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, according to a study led by scientists at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Only 10 percent of non-dialysis kidney patients ever see a dietitian
In patients with chronic kidney disease, medical nutrition therapy can slow the progression and significantly reduce healthcare costs.
More Dialysis News and Dialysis Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.