As most Chronic Kidney Disease and Dialysis patients know, the average wait time for a kidney transplant is 5 to 7 years and 13 people die each day waiting for a Kidney Transplant. The issue with waiting for a kidney is that Dialysis sustains patients' lives but does not restore their health. Hence, news of progress with the Artificial Implantable Kidney - which could offer improved quality of life and longevity - is always welcomed.
Dr. Shuvo Roy (University of California San Francisco) and Dr. William Fissell (Vanderbilt University) have bee awarded $75,000.00 by KidneyX (Partnership between The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Society of Nephrology) to further pursue designs which will lead to the Artificial Implantable Kidney.
In the 1960s, a pacemaker was the size of a microwave and a dialysis machine was the size of a refrigerator. Today, a pacemaker is the size of a vitamin and a dialysis machine is, well, the size of a refrigerator. While many Chronic Kidney Disease patients wonder why many other Chronic Diseases have advanced while progress in Kidney Issues seems to be more sluggish, Dr. Roy clearly stated: “Kidney disease is underserved.” Although failed kidneys kill more people each year than breast or prostate cancer, “the field has not seen much innovation in the last 50 years,” noted the good doctor.
The current Artificial Implantable Kidney design has two main components: A Mechanical Filtration unit that performs the cleansing functions of a kidney with silicon membrane filters; and a Bioreactor unit lined with kidney cells to take care of the other key functions of a kidney, such as salt and water reabsorption, regulating blood pressure, and even possibly producing vitamin D. The idea is that the Artifical Implantable Kidney can serve as a “universal donor kidney,” with enough function equivalence to no longer need traditional Dialysis (only 20 to 30%).
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The team is now preparing to begin a Human Trial with the filtering unit first. The kidney cell unit is being optimized and requires additional pre-human research. The device is in the running to receive an additional $500,000.00 prize if it is selected by KidneyX as a promising breakthrough next year.
KidneyBuzz.com is the Kidney Breakthrough Leader, offering the latest on the Artificial Implantable Kidney, Wearable Artificial Kidney, AWAK, and many other potential breakthroughs as well as early market releases. Follow us on Facebook and visit every day to get the latest. Also, leave a comment and let us know your thoughts about the Artificial Implantable Kidney. Is it moving fast enough? What would you tell decision makers if you could speak with them directly?