Toward the wearable artificial kidney

Hemodial Int. 2008 Jul:12 Suppl 1:S40-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1542-4758.2008.00295.x.


The evolution of technology in hemodialysis has gone through several steps including the feasibility phase, the search for reliability, the implementation of automation to improve efficiency and the quest towards increased tolerance and treatment adequacy. Today, a new challenge is appearing on the scene and it concerns miniaturization, transportability, wearability and the possibility of developing implantable devices for renal replacement therapies. Although we are not there yet, a new series of papers have recently been published disclosing interesting and promising results on the application of wearable ultrafiltration systems (WUF) and wearable artificial kidneys (WAK). Some of these use extracorporeal blood cleansing as a method of blood purification while others use peritoneal dialysis as a treatment modality. This manuscript presents the initial results with these new devices and proposes an effort to make a quantum leap in technology making the wearable artificial kidney a reality rather than a dream.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design*
  • Hemodialysis, Home / instrumentation*
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Kidneys, Artificial*
  • Miniaturization
  • Ultrafiltration / instrumentation*