Dialysis could be sweeter
India is a ‘diabetic’ country, with the number of those affected expected to reach 101 million by 2030. Patients are at particular risk of developing kidney failure.
Scientists at IIT-Bombay have developed a special membrane that promises to reduce the cost of dialysis by 50%, lower the time taken for the process by half and even get safer for the patient. It could also spur development of portable or wearable dialysers.
Dialysis helps to artificially remove waste and excess water from the blood. For those who suffer from chronic kidney failure, due to the high cost, about 90% of those with kidney failure in India die within months, due to lack of treatment, according to an AIIMS study.
IIT-B’s chemical engineering department hopes that their product will be available within three years. They have developed a hollow-fiber membrane that has completed laboratory tests and awaits pre-clinical trials.
An Indian patent has been procured for it, with an indigenous and low-cost pilot plant to produce the membranes, which has been functioning for the last two years.
The new membrane will deliver faster and more efficient dialysis with less side-affects at a significantly lower cost, said Jayesh Bellare, who is leading the IIT team.
Most dialysis filters are imported and very expensive. A filter that is developed here will lower the cost and raise its affordability for people.
The membrane developed by IIT is an important and vital component of the filter and filters out the impurities from the blood during hemodialysis. The scientists said they had formulated a special material which improves performance in terms of separation and biocompatibility. It also permits faster treatment, lesser side reactions and could encourage the manufacture of novel devices such as portable or wearable dialysers.