WUR biochemist develops new membranes for portable artificial kidney

Published on
December 2, 2022

A WUR biochemist received a grant from the EWUU alliance to develop a new membrane that can absorb urea. This can diminish the water use of dialysis treatment, and may pave the way for a portable kidney device.

Researchers of TU Eindhoven, WUR, UMC Utrecht, and Utrecht University (together the EWUU alliance) are developing a membrane that could greatly improve the lives of kidney disease patients. Currently, patients need to visit the hospital 3-4 times a week for 4-hour sessions to undergo dialysis treatment. The haemodialysis machines are 100 kilograms and require a lot of water to extract the toxic compounds from the blood. This water needs to be purified and recirculated, which requires hospitals to employ a enormous wastewater treatment system. This is the main reason why it has been impossible to make the dialysis device portable.

The membrane to be developed by Akbar Asadi, assistant professor at Biobased Chemistry and Technology group, would improve water treatment, so that it requires much less water and pave the way for a portable dialysis device.