UCSF unveils model for implantable artificial kidney to replace dialysis

This device is expected to be ready for clinical trials in 5-7 years. Read the story here:


I wish I understood how a “dumb” kidney i.e. an artificial kidney without built in sensors and processors, could determine a person’s proper hydration. The human kidney is amazing for many reasons but a health kidney’s ability to know how much fluid to remove can’t be matched today in the clinic, let alone in an implantable device.

As I’ve heard other people say about other things, how they expect this to work is way above my pay grade (or ability to comprehend). I assume more will be published in the press as time goes on. Bottom line…science is working on better ways to treat kidney failure and prolong kidney function. Hopefully one day we’ll look back and think of these as the “Dark Ages” of medicine (as McCoy said in Star Trek IV: The voyage Home):

McCoy: [McCoy, masked and in surgical garb, passes an elderly woman groaning on a gurney in the hallway] What’s the matter with you?
Elderly patient: [weakly] Kidney
Elderly patient: dialysis.
McCoy: [geniunely surprised] Dialysis?
[musing to himself]
McCoy: What is this, the Dark Ages?
[He turns back to the patient and hands her a large white pill]
McCoy: Here,
McCoy: you swallow that, and if you have any more problems, just call me!
[He pats her cheek and leaves]

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092007/quotes?qt0444224 (one of my friends is a Trekkie)