At Vanderbilt University scientists are building an artificial kidney. The scientists envision the device will become the standard of care and eliminate traditional dialysis. The prototype device was made using a silicon nanotechnology filter chip, embedded living kidney cells, and 3-D printing. The chips and cells work together to mimic the functions of a healthy kidney. The breakthrough device will be about the same size as a natural kidney. It will be small enough to be implanted in a patient’s body cavity. Power to make it work will come from the body’s own blood flow.
The key component of the artificial kidney has tiny pores in filter chips which can be individually shaped to perform a specific task. The tiny filters will be a aligned in a stack and each filter will perform a different type of filtration. Living human kidney cells in between the filter slices will perform more complex functions such as reabsorption of nutrients and getting rid of accumulated waste.
Watch the five minute video with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Dr. William Fissell, the lead scientist on the research team. See the full article at Artificial Kidney Made of Nanofilters and Living Cells to Replace Dialysis. Read about other healthcare technology breakthroughs in Health Attitude.