US-based Indian origin researcher Shuvo Roy has created the world’s first implantable artificial kidney. What’s sensational about Roy’s creation is that the organ, no larger than a coffee cup, will be able to mimic the kidney’s most vital functions like filtering toxins out of the bloodstream, regulate blood pressure and produce the all- important vitamin D.
Shuvo Roy has a PhD in electrical engineering but his experimental handiwork may give the world its first implantable artificial kidney, a potential alternative to dialysis and transplants for patients with end-stage kidney failure.
The bioengineering specialist of Indian origin at the University of California, San Francisco, has demonstrated the feasibility of an implantable kidney in animals, and hopes to refine the coffee cup-sized prototype for clinical trials in humans in about five years.
“This device is designed to deliver most of the health benefits of a kidney transplant,” said Roy, associate professor at the UCSF School of Pharmacy, who has spent much of the past three years developing the miniaturised implantable device for total renal replacement therapy.
“This could dramatically reduce the burden of renal failure for millions of people worldwide,” Roy said in a statement issued through his university. One part of the device has tiny filters that remove waste products from blood, while another part mimics the kidney’s water-balancing role.
Roy’s goal is to refine the current prototype into an implantable device for patients with kidney failure for whom it would serve as a bio-artificial organ. Roy and his colleagues at the University of Michigan and the Cleveland Clinic Foundation have filed a patent on such a bio-artificial organ.