The National Kidney Foundation estimates that over 100,000 patients are on the waiting list for a donor kidney, and over 3,000 are added list each year. The only medical solution for patients with critical kidney condition is the dialysis. Without dialysis, patients may not survive. What makes it even more difficult for those patients is the fact that eventually they gonna need a kidney transplantation and there is always a long waiting list for transplantation. So far, there was no solution for kidney patients other than getting a new kidney through transplantation.
But now, with the advance of the medical technology, soon there will be new solutions. Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco have managed to create the first bionic kidney that can replace damaged kidneys. This kidney is a perfect replica for human kidney and should save millions of lives. The bionic kidney can be put into the human body by plain surgery and so far it has been shown to work effectively with everyone. It consists several microchips that are working with the work of the heart. This bionic kidney filtrates toxins from the blood in the same way as human kidneys.
The bionic kidney is a microchip made of silicon nanotechnology
The main technology behind this bionic kidney is a microchip made of silicon nanotechnology, much like microelectronics in computers. Microchips are cheap and can be used as good filters. Each device has about 15 microchips placed in layers and form a kind of armor in which living kidney cells are placed. The main challenge is to achieve blood flow through the bionic kidney without clotting and without interfering with the bloodstream.
The most important thing about this bionic kidney is that there is no chance for this kidney to get rejected by any body. The first prototype of a bionic kidney is already created and it is as big as a cup of coffee. So far, it successfully maintains the balance of levels of potassium and sodium, and can also regulate the blood pressure. The project is funded with a grant of $6 million from the National Institute of Health.