Catalyst Awardee

Project Description

Development of an Implantable, Continuously Operating, Patient-Friendly Renal Replacement System for Transforming Home Dialysis

Nikhil Shah, DO, MPH | Nephrodite, Inc., University of Texas, Austin; and Hiep T. Nguyen, MD | Banner Health System
Competition Sponsor:
National Academy of Medicine
Awardee Year: 2020

We are developing a fully implantable, fully mechanical, continuous hemodialysis device that is designed to be a bridge to transplant for eligible patients and/or a destination therapy for transplant ineligible patients. Our device, inspired by a patient named Ms. Holly, serves as a more effective renal replacement therapeutic as it minimizes the impact/burden of treatment, facilitate mobility, and reduce disease maintenance and complications. The key functionality is provided by the novel coupling of an arterial-based mechanical pump, long-lasting semi-permeable filtration membrane, and an implanted reservoir that allows for solutes < 30kDa to be removed from the blood via exchange with dialysate. The dialysate, including the waste product, is contained in the implanted reservoir, and exchanged daily during sleeping hours via an implanted catheter that is connected to an external fluid exchange device. Key proof-of-concept testing has been completed in construction of the mechanical pump termed the Filtration Unit (FU). These include: feasibility of implantation of the FU, pressure and flow testing of the device, and demonstration of sufficient urea removal over an extended period of time. We currently seek funding to validate prior experiments using blood and to build an operational benchtop prototype.

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