Pollyanna Lives… In An Artifical Kidney

It’s amazing how long a week can be sometimes.  This week felt longer because I was not careful about overdoing, overdid, and spent two days in bed (well, that part of it was great: DVDs, books, phone conversations, a little internet).  I’ve learned my lesson… I think.  I have this vague recollection of saying the same thing July 4th weekend when we went up to Prescott for the rodeo and parade but ended up in the hotel room pandering to my neglient energy level instead.  Okay, maybe this time I really have learned my lesson – at least, until next time. Some lessons are hard to learn, but I’m hopeful.  Hmmmm, have I mentioned my kids refer to me as Pollyanna?

Talking about Pollyanna, I found this article in Renal And Urology News and started hopping up and down with excitement – while trying to stay seated at the computer. I’m not exactly a kid and am distressed at the thought of having my children disrupt their lives – if they’re even matches – when and if I need a kidney.  My brothers and my finance are all older than I am and, logically although sadly, might not be around at that time.  So who will donate their live kidney to me should the need arise?  If not a living donor, won’t I be placed on the list to wait… and wait… and wait?  Maybe not.  Here’s hope:

Nephrologists and Urologists Collaborate  on Implantable Artificial Kidney

                    Figure 1. An implantable artificial kidney moves closer to reality.
Figure 1. An implantable artificial kidney moves closer to reality.

Four years ago, a joint effort was established between nephrologists and urologists at the Cleveland Clinic Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute to develop and implant a bioartificial kidney. The bioartificial kidney uses a high-efficiency biomimetic silicon nanopore filter that acts synonymously as a glomerulus, in combination with a kidney epithelial cell bioreactor that allows for reabsorbtion of essential electrolytes from plasma filtrate (Figure 1). A Phase 2 trial of an extracorporeal system utilizing these technologies was completed in 2005. Current efforts have been aimed at miniaturization of technology to facilitate implantation of a miniaturized biohybrid device.

This project has been funded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the Wildwood Foundation, Cleveland Clinic, and the University of California, San Francisco. Nephrologists and engineers  involved with inception and initial development of the project include William H. Fissell, MD (Cleveland Clinic), Aaron J. Fleischman, PhD, (Cleveland Clinic), Shuvo Roy, PhD (University of California, San Francisco) and H. David Humes, MD (University of Michigan). At Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Fissell, a clinical nephrologist, has teamed with Matthew N. Simmons, MD, PhD, a urologic oncologist to develop prototypes suitable for surgical implantation.  Dr Fissell has a background in biomedical engineering and oversees design and construction of the components of the device. Together, Drs. Fissell and Simmons work through the processes of design modification, surgical implantation, in vivo device maintenance, and functional monitoring. To date they have implanted four hemofilter devices, the last of which remained in vivo for five days.

This project is a model example of the advantages of direct partnership between nephrology and urology colleagues. Dr. Fissell and colleagues provide expertise in terms of materials engineering and renal physiology to develop a device capable of reproducing kidney function.  In partnership with Dr. Simmons and the urology team, they are steadily advancing the transformation of the device from concept to an implantable reality. It is hoped that the success of this research may eventually impact the lives of millions of patients with kidney disease.

You can find the article at: http://www.renalandurologynews.com/nephrologists-and-urologists-collaborate-on-implantable-artificial-kidney/article/216193/

On the book front, there’s another book signing coming up. Here’s the “official” notice”:

Gail Rae, author of “What Is It And How Did I Get It? Early Stage Chronic Kidney Disease” signs the book while the radio shows she’s guested on play in the background.  Not only are the books for sale, but Next has terrific goodies and – of course – coffee for sale. That’s at Next Coffee Company 19420 N. 59 Ave. Glendale, Az. 85308 on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2.  Locals, come join me!!!!  This is my hangout place when I need to get away from the computer and out of the office so you know one of my two cups of coffee a day is drunk here — and it’s so good.  They have food, too, even rice krispies treats which you know we can eat.

I am excited about having a book signing right in my own backyard so to speak.  It’s not the now transformed Muddy Cup in Staten Island where I used to hang out while Ingrid Michaelson (yes, THAT Ingrid Michaelson) waitressed, but it’s welcoming and you just might meet an interesting medical student since Midwestern University is right across the avenue.  I’ll be looking for you then.

Oh, I’ve got the link to the last radio show I guested on, the one with the heavy hitters full of information I hadn’t heard about before:  http://www.voiceamerica.com/episode/57739/what-is-your-ckd-experience-with-gail-rae-and-a-medical-breakthrough-with-asea-how-redox-signaling

Until next week,

 Keep living your life!


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23 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Gail, I love how the blog is snowing! Also, do you know if there are any other organs being transplanted that are completely artificial at this time?

  2. Thanks for the snow comment, Mandy. It just tickled my fancy, so I decided to share it.

    I have to admit that I’ve only concentrated on the completely artifical kidney as I’ve plowed through loads and loads of articles, but I do remember rejecting several that dealt with other organs. I’m sorry I don’t remember WHICH other organs.

  3. Wow Excellent blog!

    • To wit, a comment from another movie person! I really like your succinct comments.

  4. I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The website style is great, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

    • I’m getting a real kick from how many movie blog people are commenting on my blog. Thanks for the kudos. What do you mean by, “But should remark on few general things…”?

  5. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

    • I wish I could help you there, but I’m neither a doctor nor a scientist. I’d go to the website for the article and search their site for similar information. I surely will post more info as I find it, though.

  6. Great job here. I really enjoyed what you had to say.

    • Thank you. I figure if it’s my mission to get a copy of the book into every newly diagnosed CKD patient’s hands, the least I can do is keep these same people up on updates.

  7. Very nice very nice stuff you have on ur blog your above excellence

    • Another comment from a movie site. Do you guys always read blogs at work? Anyway, thanks Niemczyk, it’s comments like this that encourage me when I wonder if anyone ever reads what I post.

  8. I always was concerned in this subject and stock still am, thanks for posting .

    • You’re so welcome, Aidan. Take a look at some of the websites on the blog roll. They may offer you more info.

  9. The blog given to us has some exciting features. It realy increase my knowledge about the topic.

    • Thank you, Albergotti. I was looking over the last year or so of blogs and realized the blog has evolved more into new information than my own musings.

  10. I was surprised by this post by actually finding it quite enlightening. I brought up some interesting points. I will be visiting again soon.

    • Thanks. Why not join the blog list and have it emailed to you each week? I noticed your address and had to laugh since that’s exactly what we’ve been discussing since a friend received a Kindle Fire for Chanukah and I’m still happy with my original Kindle.

  11. Great post!

  12. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the excellent quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one these days..

    • I could almost swear I received exactly the same comment once before, but I’d rather say thank you again than ignore a real comment. As for a paid theme, I don’t know what that means. I chose a theme from WordPress, then modified the templates. I hope that answers your question, Bert.

  13. thank you for all your efforts that you have put in this. Very interesting information. “The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels.” by Hazrat Inayat Khan.

    • I can’t quite figure out how WordPress knows this is spam, so just in case it’s not (again), thank you Nannie. Keep reading for more interesting information.

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