Print 15 comment(s) - last by AlvinCool.. on Jul 16 at 3:52 PM

New medical device could help millions of patients.

Kidneys are an important part of the human body -- as the body's filtration system, they keep harmful pollutants from building up in the blood stream and causing problems which can, if left untreated, become fatal. When kidneys fail, modern medical technology generally relies on dialysis.

Hemodialysis is typically the common means of treatment, and it involves externally removing toxins from the blood via machinery. The process takes four hours, three times weekly, causing a great deal of stress in the patient's life and body. As the treatment only occurs every few days, harmful substances build up in the blood stream, and when they are all filtered out in the span of several hours, along with the addition of anticoagulants used to prevent filtering blood from clotting, it causes a shock to the patient's body.

However, thanks to Martin Roberts and David B. N. Lee of the UCLA's David Geffen School of Medicine, cumbersome dialysis may be a thing of the past for many patients. They have designed a peritoneal, wearable kidney which could replace the function of a patient's own failing organs.

There are many benefits to the automated, wearable artificial kidney, or AWAK. Foremost is that rather than spending hours on a machine several times a week; much like a regular kidney, the AWAK functions continuously. This will allow patients to go about their lives in a much more unaffected manner than presently available.

Another is the efficiency of the device. Typically, dialysate, the fluid of pollutants and other chemicals removed from blood during dialysis, is simply disposed. The AWAK can reuse the fluid and proteins contained in the dialysate, reducing protein and eliminating water loss during the filtration process.

"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," stated Robert and Lee in a Clinical and Experimental Nephrology article about the device. Certainly the device will improve the quality of life for many dialysis patients should it see widespread use.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Great Hopes
By mattclary on 7/16/2008 8:42:51 AM , Rating: 2
Why do you think this got invented? It's a secret DARPA project on his behalf. ;)

Just kidding

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

Most Popular Articles5 Cases for iPhone 7 and 7 iPhone Plus
September 18, 2016, 10:08 AM
Automaker Porsche may expand range of Panamera Coupe design.
September 18, 2016, 11:00 AM
Walmart may get "Robot Shopping Carts?"
September 17, 2016, 6:01 AM
No More Turtlenecks - Try Snakables
September 19, 2016, 7:44 AM
ADHD Diagnosis and Treatment in Children: Problem or Paranoia?
September 19, 2016, 5:30 AM

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki