SAN FRANCISCO—A biotech project is in the works that could change the lives of thousands of kidney patients. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now helping to fast track an artificial kidney device being developed by researchers at UCSF.
With a failed kidney transplant now behind him, David Anderson has settled into a routine of regular dialysis and the limitations that go with it.
"If you skip one of those sessions, generally speaking, you know it. You don't feel well," said Anderson.
But soon, a technology being developed here in the Bay Area, could free patients like Anderson from the stationary machine.
Researchers at UCSF are refining designs for an artificial kidney. An implantable device designed to filter the blood and perform all the functions of the human kidney.
"We try to mimic a number of those functions by a combination of mechanical component, which is silicon filters that we have developed, and combine that with cells that we've harvested from human kidneys," said Shuvo Roy, PhD, the project director from UCSF.
Roy says the silicon filters are microscopic, containing millions of tiny pores to purify the blood.
"These are pores that are so tiny, they let only water and salt through, but do not let any proteins through," said Roy.