Scientists from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, US are developing an implantable artificial kidney with microchip filters and living kidney cells that will be powered by a patient’s own heart, a one of its kind development.
The kidney implant will roughly be the size of a soda can, with each device holding a maximum of fifteen microchips that are layered on top of each other. These microchips will act as a filter and remove waste products, salt and water from a patient’s body, thus, eliminating the need of keeping a patient on a dialysis machine. In addition to filtering waste, the microchips will also act as a scaffold and hold live kidney cells.
Researchers will use these live kidney cells that will grow on and around the microchip filters. "We can use the kidney cells that fortunately, for us, grow well in the lab dish, and grow them into a bioreactor of living cells that will be the only 'Santa Claus' membrane in the world, the only membrane that will know which chemicals have been naughty and which have been nice," said William H Fissell IV from Vanderbilt University Medical Centre. Since the device will be out of reach from the body’s immune response system, there are no chances of rejection.