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Bioartificial Kidney Cuts Death Risk, Improves Outcomes
Date:4/30/2008

it offers encouragement that a related device -- a wearable kidney that performs natural functions -- can be developed in the near future to treat people with chronic renal failure.

"The ability to harness vital processes of cells, to target their living molecular machinery on restoring critical substances which have become disordered by disease, has vast implications for the future of medicine," Humes said. "The apparently successful use of living cells in this way validates our approach and should encourage others to investigate cell therapies for a range of disorders."

He and his colleagues started developing the bioartificial kidney more than a decade ago. The device includes a cartridge that filters the blood as in traditional kidney dialysis. The cartridge is connected to the RAD, which is made of hollow fibers lined with a type of kidney cell called renal proximal tubule cells, which reclaim vital electrolytes, salt, glucose and water, and control production of immune system molecules called cytokines, which fight infection.

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about kidney failure.



-- Robert Preidt



SOURCE: University of Michigan Health System, news release, April 24, 2008


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