End stage renal disease (ESRD) has consistently been a major medical problem worldwide. By the year 2010, the number of ESRD patients in the United States is projected to be 661,330 with an increase of 78% compared to 372,407 in the year 2000. The total annual cost of Medicare for ESRD patients in the United States is projected to be $28.3 billion by the year 2010, an increase of 99% compared to $14.2 billion in the year 2000. Current hemodialysis membranes used in kidney dialysis have difficulty in removing uremic toxins from the blood. Nano-porous alumina tubes have gained significant interest in drug delivery and gas separation technologies and, as of yet, their use as membranes for hemodialysis has not been researched. The objective of this project is to create nano-porous alumina tubes with average pore sizes of 5 nm using a process of anodizing aluminum tubes under controlled conditions. There are several advantages of alumina membranes over the membranes currently used including: high porosity and uniform pore size, high hydraulic conductivity (water permeability), uniform pore distribution, excellent pore structure, high resistance to chemical and thermal degradation, and superior mechanical properties. The pore size and porosity will be measured by Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), while membrane permeability will be tested by a custom designed setup. Finally, a prototype mini-module hemodialyzer will be constructed and the clearance of a wide spectrum of molecular weight solutes (from low to high molecular weight solutes) will be evaluated. This research will address the needs of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), specifically its Division of Kidney, Urologic, and Hematologic Diseases. The NIDDK is seeking """"""""the development of new dialysis membranes to diminish the duration of dialysis treatments."""""""" When commercialized, the new membranes will deliver a higher average dose to dialysis patients and increase their quality of life. ? ?
|Attaluri, Anil Chandra; Huang, Zhongping; Belwalkar, Amit et al. (2009) Evaluation of nano-porous alumina membranes for hemodialysis application. ASAIO J 55:217-23|