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MEMS technology used to develop an artificial kidney

 

Narrator:            This is Science Today. Researchers are using microelectromechanical systems, or MEMS, to develop what could be the world's first implantable artificial kidney. Bioengineer Shuvo Roy of the University of California, San Francisco, explains that one of the attractions of MEMS technology is that it's very manufacturable.

Roy:                    So, it's not like we're making these special membranes using tools that we'll have to worry about to scale up. We're actually using production-level tools that we can translate into manufacturing later on.

Narrator:            Roy and his nationwide team of collaborators have developed a coffee-cup sized device that could someday do away with dialysis. But they're still in the testing stages.

Roy:                    So, what we've done to date is basically shown that the two components of our device, the filter component and the cell therapy component, work in separate little units. And we've shown small-scale versions of them to work in small animals. And so far those results have been very encouraging.

Narrator:            The next step is to scale up the devices for further testing in large animals and humans. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.