A team of scientists from the University of California San Francisco is currently developing an artificial biohybrid kidney that could replace dialysis and kidney transplantation in the future. Clinical trials are coming soon.

Artificial Kidney May Substutude Vital Kidney Function

The kidneys have several important functions in the body. Untreated kidney dysfunction can lead to death. These paired organs have the ability to filter toxins and waste products from the blood, regulate blood pressure and monitor electrolytes concentration and other body fluids.

In case of kidney failure, their functions must be replaced. Patients receive dialysis or may accept kidney transplantation. Even if a suitable donor is found, it does not mean 100% success. The body must accept the organ and begin to function fully.

As part of the Kidney Project, experts from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are working to develop a so-called biohybrid kidney that can be implanted in a patient’s body.

Dialysis and Kidney Transplantation Alternative

In many cases, renal failure refers patients to dialysis, which they must undergo regularly. Although dialysis is a challenging invasive treatment with some risks, it saves lives. The same service can be fulfilled by an artificial biohybrid kidney, which represents a unique alternative to dialysis and kidney transplantation.

The biohybrid kidney has two main components: the hemofilter and bioreactor. The hemofilter creates silicon semiconductor membranes, which remove waste substances from the blood. The bioreactor contains modified kidney cells, and its task is to regulate the properties of the blood and perform other metabolic functions. The device is connected to two blood vessels and a bladder.

The artificial kidney can replace the main kidneys’ functions. A patient does not have to take immunosuppressive or anticoagulant drugs, which are essential in the case of organ transplantation. So far, the biohybrid kidney is doing well in preclinical trials and clinical trials with human patients should take place soon.

Source and credit: https://pharmacy.ucsf.edu/news/2021/09/kidney-project-successfully-tests-prototype-bioartificial-kidney