Affordable and mobile purification of dialysis water

phys.org | 10/1/2019 | Staff
j.moomin (Posted by) Level 3
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People who suffer from end stage renal desease frequently undergo dialysis on a fixed schedule. For patients this artificial washing of the blood is a major burden. To remove toxins from the blood, large quantities of dialysis water for clearance are required. Until now there has been no solution so far to recover this dialysate cost-effectively. Therefore a cryo-purification method is being developed by Fraunhofer researchers that clears the water without loosing it. This approach not only reduces costs—it may even pave the way for a wearable artificial kidney by milder long-term dialysis treatment at complete water autonomy.

Some 90,000 people in Germany every year have to undergo dialysis three times a week for four to five hours, because their kidneys no longer function properly and cannot eliminate toxins sufficiently. During treatment harmful metabolites are removed from the blood by transferring them outside the body via a semipermeable membrane into a dedicated dialysis fluid called the dialysate. The pores of the membrane are so narrow that only toxins up to a certain size can pass them. Small molecules such as water, electrolytes and uremic toxins—urea, uric acid and creatinine—transit the membrane into the cleaning fluid, while large molecules such as proteins and blood cells are rejected. The entire blood is recirculated and cleared approximately three times per hour.

Dialysis - Treatment - Approx - Liters - Dialysate

For a dialysis treatment, approx. 400 liters of dialysate are required. Hospitals and dialysis centers prepare this water using reverse osmosis systems, which consume a lot of energy and are expensive. It is challenging that dialysate can only be utilized once, as it disappears as waste water after the blood purification treatment. To treat 90,000 patients per year this requires more than 5.6 million cubic meters of ultrapure water. In many regions of the world this requirement is not met. According to estimates, over...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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