Skip navigation
New device potentially could replace dialysis


Narrator:    This is Science Today. A new device could someday be the world's first implantable artificial kidney. Bioengineer Shuvo Roy, of the University of California, San Francisco, is leading a project, along with a multidisciplinary team of researchers from around the country.

Roy:            What we are working on is a device the size of a coffee cup or slightly smaller that contains a mechanical filter that removes toxins from your blood, followed by another cartridge that contains cells. These cells process the filtrate and provide some of the functions that a healthy kidney does.

Narrator:    Such an implantable device could do away with expensive dialysis treatments, which offer patients very low quality of life. The alternative is a kidney transplant, which is very expensive and patients often die while waiting for one to be available.

Roy:            So, our team has been motivated to come up with a solution that provides the benefits of a kidney transplant, while addressing the limitations. We're at the stage where we feel we can now bring this into a unit that can be scaled up ultimately for human use.

Narrator:    For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.