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FDA gives boost to development of artificial kidney


Narrator:       This is Science Today. An effort to create an implantable artificial kidney for dialysis patients has been given a boost by the Food and Drug Administration. The University of California, San Francisco-led project has been tapped by the FDA as one of the first projects to undergo more timely and collaborative review. Bioengineer Shuvo Roy is leading a team of about 40 researchers in nine laboratories nationwide to develop the artificial kidney.

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:       Chronic kidney failure affects nearly 2 million people worldwide. The most effective treatment is kidney transplantation, but organs are in short supply, so many patients survive by undergoing dialysis.

Roy:               Our device will provide therapy 24/7.  It will allow the patient to be mobile. They don't have to be tethered to a machine. 

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