Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Intelligent Machines

Artificial Renality

A dialysis filter can fill in for a kidney, separating body wastes from the blood. It works, but lost are some subtler jobs of kidney cells, such as reclaiming antioxidants and producing vitamin D. At the University of Michigan, tissue engineers have created a “bioartificial” kidney that looks to put cells, and their metabolic function, back in the picture. The team lined hollow polymer fibers with pig kidney cells and packed the fibers together in a cartridge. The device works in series with a dialysis machine: Wastes filtered out by dialysis run through the fibers while blood runs through the spaces between fibers, and the pig cells transport useful molecules across the permeable fiber walls and back into the blood. The researchers say that tests on dogs have been successful and human trials are planned, pending FDA approval. Ultimately, their ambition is to design an implantable bioartificial kidney that could replace dialysis altogether.

Uh oh–you've read all of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium
$179.95/yr US PRICE

More from Intelligent Machines

Artificial intelligence and robots are transforming how we work and live.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Basic.
  • Insider Basic {! insider.prices.basic !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six issues of our award winning print magazine, unlimited online access plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    What's Included

    Unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website

    The Download: our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation

    Bimonthly print magazine (6 issues per year)

/
You've read all of your free articles this month. This is your last free article this month. You've read of free articles this month. or  for unlimited online access.