The Kidney Project is a national research project with a goal to create a small, surgically implanted, and free-standing bioartificial kidney to treat end stage renal disease (ESRD).
“This is something that can save lives,” said Ben Williams, “it’s just a matter of getting them the money they need to develop the technology.”
An extracorporeal Renal Assist Device has already been developed. It is a bioartificial kidney that combines a membrane hemofilter and a bioreactor of human renal tubule cells to mimic many of the metabolic, endocrine, and immunological functions of a healthy kidney. The problem is its labor-intensive and complex operation, large size, and high marginal cost.
“The ultimate goal of The Kidney Project is to apply microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology to miniaturize the extracorporeal RAD into a surgically implantable, self-monitoring, and self-regulating bioartificial kidney,” reads The Kidney Project website.