The first bio-implantable artificial kidney device in the
world has been developed by a bio-engineering specialist of Indian origin
researcher- Shuvo Roy and his team at the University of California in the
US. This world's first artificial
kidney can mimic almost all the vital functions of the kidney. It not only
filters toxins but performs all the metabolic and hormonal functions of a
normal kidney. If this device passes human trials, it could possibly eliminate
the need for kidney dialysis and kidney transplant.
The new artificial kidney device
is the size of a coffee cup and comprises of two parts- filter and cellular
side. The first part filters the toxins from the bloodstream and is made up of
silicon chips. This filtered blood is then pumped into the second part of the
device which is also made up of silicon chips and is coated with a single type
of human kidney cells. These renal cells help to reabsorb some of the water,
sugar and salt back into the body, produce vitamin D and regulate the blood
pressure. The waste products are directed through a tube that is
attached to the urinary bladder and then excreted as urine.
"Better over dialysis, even transplants as well.
Patients may not require anti-rejection drugs - as is required after
transplants because there would be no exposed natural tissues for the immune
system to attack," said Dr Alka Bhasin, Nephrologist, Max. Human trials
will be conducted over the next five to seven years. Animal trials have shown
good results so far. Patients and the medical fraternity all over the world are
hoping that Dr. Roy's invention is successful and soon made available so that
it will help patients in the final stage of chronic kidney disease and patients
who are on lifelong dialysis.