Hello,

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

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

Not a subscriber? 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.

More from Intelligent Machines

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

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print Subscription.
  • Print Subscription {! insider.prices.print_only !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Six print issues per year plus The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Print magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.