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Posted: October 9, 2007

Cleveland Clinic researcher receives $3.2 million NIH grant to develop bio-artificial kidney

(Nanowerk News) The National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering awarded Shuvo Roy, Ph.D., a $3.2 million, three-year grant today to develop a bio-artificial kidney that can be used instead of dialysis.
Dr. Roy and his team are using MEMS (microelectromechanical systems) technology to create an implantable, self-regulating bio-artificial kidney that will filter toxins and absorb necessary salts and water like human kidneys. The team includes physicians and engineers from the Lerner Research Institute’s Department of Biomedical Engineering and Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nephrology.
“We are bringing together the necessary multidisciplinary expertise to focus on critical technical hurdles to develop an implantable hemofilter and cell bioreactor, which are the integral components of the bio-artificial kidney,” Dr. Roy said.
Martin Schreiber, M.D., Chairman of the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Nephrology and Hypertension, said the grant will help further one of Cleveland Clinic’s key missions.
"This award fulfills the first step in developing innovative technology platforms which offer new hope for extending survival in patients with kidney failure,” he said. “Innovation is one of the hallmarks of the Cleveland Clinic and this project continues that tradition.”
Paul E. DiCorleto, Ph.D., Chairman of Lerner Research Institute added, “A program like this is an excellent example of our continual efforts to find ways to translate laboratory-based research into novel therapies and treatments that improve patient care.”
More than 50 million dialysis procedures are performed annually in the U.S, according to data from the United States Renal Data System. The treatment of choice, kidney transplant, is severely limited by scarcity of donor organs, such that only 25 percent of patients on the waiting list for a transplant survive long enough to receive a kidney.
The implantable bioartificial kidney Dr. Roy and his team are developing could substitute for kidney transplantation, thereby giving hope, independence, and mobility to more than 300,000 patients presently tethered to thrice-weekly in-center dialysis. Dr. Roy’s grant is one of four awarded by NIBIB’s Quantum Grants program. The overall goal of the NIBIB Quantum Grants program is to make a profound (quantum level) advance in healthcare by funding research on targeted projects that will develop new technologies and modalities for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease.
About Cleveland Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute The Lerner Research Institute is home to all laboratory-based and translational research at the Cleveland Clinic. Its mission is to understand the causes of human diseases and to develop new treatments and cures. The Lerner Research Institute is ranked among the top 10 in NIH funding among all U.S. research institutes for 2006. About 1,200 people work in research programs focusing on cardiovascular, cancer, neurologic, musculoskeletal, allergic and immunologic, eye, metabolic, and infectious disease. The Institute also is an integral part of the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University – training the next generation of physician-scientists.
About Cleveland Clinic
Cleveland Clinic, located in Cleveland, Ohio, is a not-for-profit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Cleveland Clinic was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Approximately 1,800 full-time salaried physicians and researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Florida represent more than 100 medical specialties and subspecialties. In 2006, there were 3.1 million outpatient visits to Cleveland Clinic. Patients came for treatment from every state and from more than 80 countries. There were more than 53,000 hospital admissions to Cleveland Clinic in 2006. Cleveland Clinic’s Web site address is
Source: Cleveland Clinic
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