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Researchers design model for automated, wearable artificial kidney
Date:7/10/2008

to a machine for four hours, three times a week. Their blood is filtered through the machine to remove toxins and is then pumped back into the body. What hemodialysis can't do, however, is provide cleansing and fluid balance on a continuous basis; therefore, toxin levels and fluid volume tend to fluctuate, causing "shocks" to the patient's system. The same is true of standard peritoneal-based dialysis.

In addition, hemodialysis uses anticoagulants to prevent the blood circulating outside the body from clotting. But this, too, can cause complications. Work on other wearable kidneys has been based on this hemodialysis or hemofiltration model.

The AWAK, on the other hand, would function continuously, as natural kidneys do, eliminating patient "shocks." And because it does not involve blood circulation outside the body, it is "bloodless." It also regenerates and reuses fluid and protein components in the spent dialysate the fluid that has abstracted toxins from the patient's blood and which is discarded in current practice making it waterless and minimizing or eliminating protein loss.

"Dialysis-on-the-go, made possible by AWAK's 'wearability' and automation, frees end-stage renal failure patients from the servitude that is demanded by the current dialytic regimentations," Roberts and Lee write in the journal article.


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Contact: Enrique Rivero
erivero@mednet.ucla.edu
310-794-2273
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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