Artificial kidney coming soon !

Chronic kidney failure patients who undergo severe stress, shelling out lakhs of rupees and hours of bed rest, now have a reason to smile. The US Food and Drug Administration has selected two projects for fast track review, which include a unique implantable artificial kidney. After the fast track clinical trials that are slated for 2017, these could be available in this decade.

Just like pacemakers and defibrillators, these artificial kidneys can be placed permanently inside the bodies (abdominal cavity), allowing patients to enjoy a freer life, away from the hassles of dialysis. California-based bio-engineer Shuvo Ray (with Bangladeshi roots) has created this nanotechnology-powered Implantable Renal Assisted Device in the UCSF department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences. Mr Ray’s project is one among the two projects that won approval, the other being the Awak — Automated Wearable Artificial Kidney.

While the Awak works on the peritoneal dialysis concept that is external, the Irad works on hemodialysis, purifying the blood from inside. The project has leveraged nanotechnology-powered hollow fibres that filter impure blood drawn through the iliac artery in the abdomen, and pumps pure blood back into the system.

“We are iteratively optimising prototype design and short-term pre-clinical testi-ng of the hemofilter. For the bioreactor, we’re probing cell longevity and transport characteristics. We will initiate clinical trials in 2017. After completion, the device will be available as routine clinical therapy,” said the doctor. “This will benefit millions of kidney patients,” said Dr Muhammad Rafay, kidney specialist from Apollo.