The biocompatibility and bioactivity of hemodialysis membranes: their impact in end-stage renal disease

J Artif Organs. 2019 Mar;22(1):14-28. doi: 10.1007/s10047-018-1059-9. Epub 2018 Jul 14.


End-stage renal disease is a growing health problem with increasing prevalence and high health care costs. Patients suffering from end-stage renal disease exhibit higher morbidity and mortality rates compared to the general population. These patients, who are treated using hemodialysis, typically suffer from anemia, inflammation, and oxidative stress. Inadequate dialyzer membrane biocompatibility exacerbates these negative side effects. Modifications of the composition of hemodialysis membranes have improved their biocompatibility and improve the patients' quality of life. Recently, the use of dialyzer membranes coated with bioactive compounds has also been proposed to further ameliorate dialysis-associated problems. Based on a survey of the current literature, application of bioactive membranes decreases the inflammation and oxidative stress of patients treated with hemodialysis.

Keywords: Bioactive membranes; Hemodialysis membranes; Inflammation; Kidney disease; Oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Biocompatible Materials*
  • Cellulose
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / etiology
  • Inflammation / prevention & control
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Membranes, Artificial*
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Dialysis / adverse effects*
  • Thioctic Acid / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage


  • Antioxidants
  • Biocompatible Materials
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Proteinase Inhibitory Proteins, Secretory
  • Vitamin E
  • Thioctic Acid
  • Cellulose