It is estimated by The National Kidney Foundation that over 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for kidney donors. A further 3,000 names are added to the list every year. An average patient has to wait for 3.6 years for a viable transplant. The patients are treated with dialysis while they are waiting for a transplant and only one in three patients survive for more than five years without a transplant. All that could change as scientists have developed the world’s first artificial kidney.
This bio-hybrid uses living kidney cells along with a series of specialized microchips powered by the human heart to filter waste from the blood-stream. The artificial kidney can bypass the complication of matching donors and tissue rejection. To address this unmet need, William Fissell from Vanderbilt and Shuvo Roy from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) launched The Kidney Project.
The artificial kidney can be inserted into the body by a common surgery and has been proved to work efficiently. This kidney has several microchips which are controlled by the heart and removes the toxins from the blood the same way a normal kidney does. (GET THE FULL STORY AND VIDEO HERE!)