Scientists have developed a device that mimics the functions of a kidney.
The artificial kidney was created by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), United States.
In a statement announcing the innovation, the university said the artificial kidney is made up of human kidney cells, housed in an implantable device called a bioreactor.
It was successfully tested in pigs for a week and found to mimic several important kidney functions.
The device can work quietly in the background and does not trigger the recipient’s immune system to go on the attack.
“Eventually, scientists plan to fill the bioreactor with different kidney cells that perform vital functions like balancing the body’s fluids and releasing hormones to regulate blood pressure – then pair it with a device that filters waste from the blood,” the statement reads.
“The aim is to produce a human-scale device to improve on dialysis, which keeps people alive after their kidneys fail but is a poor substitute for having a real working organ.
“The next step will be month-long trials, as required by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), first in animals and eventually in humans.”
Shuvo Roy, a bioengineering professor in the UCSF School of Pharmacy, said the bioartificial kidney will make treatment for kidney disease more effective and also much more tolerable and comfortable.
“We needed to prove that a functional bioreactor will not require immunosuppressant drugs, and we did. We had no complications and can now iterate up, reaching for the whole panel of kidney functions at the human scale,” he said.