The days of hemodialysis patients spending hours upon hours sitting in a hospital lounge while waiting for their blood to be cleaned could soon be a thing of the past, assuming, of course, that the world’s first wearable artificial kidney passes FDA muster later this year. Dubbed the Wearable Artificial Kidney, this device is the result of more than a decade of development by teams at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, led by Victor Gura.
In 2009, we had a look at the Wearable Artificial Kidney (WAK) concept that promised patients suffering from kidney failure an alternative to conventional dialysis. Now the tool-belt sized prototype has been granted approval for human testing in the United States by the FDA with clinical trials scheduled to take place in Seattle later this year. The result of over a decade of development, the WAK was conceived by a team led by Victor Gura at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. It’s a miniature dialysis machine small enough to be worn like a tool belt and is connected to the patient by means of a catheter. According to the team, with such a device, patients would no longer be spending time in long, boring static sessions, but could be out and about working or playing while the wearable unit cleaned their blood on the go.