Dialysis Treatment Alternative in Development for Kidney Failure Patients

Scientists have developed a nanofiber mesh they hope can be incorporated into a device to replace daily hospital visits for kidney failure patients.

After 2011’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, many dialysis patients were left without treatment until normal hospital services were resumed. To combat this lapse in treatment, researchers there developed a way for patients to receive treatment without going to the hospital.

Scientists created a wearable nanofiber mesh that removes toxins and waste from blood. According to a statement from the International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics (MANA), the mesh could be incorporated into a device small enough to wear on a patient’s arm. Researchers hope this reduces the need for expensive and time-consuming dialysis treatment.

The mesh is created using a process called eletrospinning: using an electrical charge to draw fibers from a liquid. Investigators discovered beta type 940-HOA zeolite had the highest capacity for toxin absorption and plan to use it in their final purification product. Though it is not ready for production, researchers expect the mesh to be a competitive alternative for the nearly 1 million kidney failure patients worldwide.