According to renal.org, kidney disease causes more deaths than breast cancer or prostate cancer, affecting approximately 37 million people in the United States or 15% of the adult population; more than 1 in 7 adults.
Although kidney transplants are possible, there is always more demand than can be met, and the risk of the patient’s body rejecting the organ is always possible. Dialysis remains the most viable option, but the process is complex and stressful for patients.
A public-private partnership between the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the American Society of Nephrology (ASN), now set up to “accelerate innovation in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of kidney disease,” may now have found a solution. , according to a press release from University of California, San Francisco.
Called the Kidney Project, the new invention is an implantable bio-artificial kidney and has just won a $ 650,000 prize from KidneyX for its first demonstration of its functional prototype.
“The vision for the artificial kidney is to provide patients with full mobility and better physiological results from dialysis,” said Roy, who is a professor in the Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, a joint department of UCSF’s Faculties and Medicine. “It promises a much higher quality of life for millions of people around the world with kidney failure.”
What is so special about an artificial kidney?
What is so special about this artificial kidney? The device is designed to sustain a culture of human kidney cells without provoking an immune response.
This means that patients with kidney failure can give up the often painful and uncomfortable dialysis procedures and lifelong immunosuppressive drugs that are taken during a kidney transplant and that can have severe side effects.
The KidneyX Artificial Kidney Award called on scientists and engineers to present “continuous kidney replacement therapies that provide transformational treatment options beyond current dialysis methods.”