Kidney — TransplantLyfe


Xenotransplantation & Artificial Kidney

fern22Transplant Patient
June 30, 2023 in Kidney

I had the pleasure of attending the American Association of Kidney Patients 5th Annual Global Summit on Kidney Innovations yesterday. Immersed in the real of innovation, I eagerly absorbed knowledge on xenotransplantation & the incredible potential of artificial kidneys.

Im curious- what are your thoughts and feelings regarding this research? Do you have any questions or concerns?

1 - 4 of 4 Replies

  • coopscadoopTransplant Patient

    Can you explain a little what it is and your thoughts after getting all that cutting edge information?

    July 3, 2023
  • fern22Transplant Patient


    Gene-edited pigs used for xenotransplantation have 10 gene edits that are designed to both prevent a human immune system from rejecting the organ and an edit that constrains the size of the pig kidney to better match a human kidney. The pigs are raised in a pathogen-free lab. They've been working on pig-to-baboon kidney transplants but the struggle is that once they cross species rejection occurs shortly after, within minutes. This is the first time in transplantation where they are modifying the donor rather than just treat the recipient. Eventually, we may need no treatment. As of now, they are still working on the modifications and new piglets are expected to be here very soon (within the next few weeks).

    The artificial kidney on the other hand is a wonderful piece of technology made from silicon membranes, because that is the most "human friendly" material. A thin biocompatible coating is applied to the filter membrane to help prevent clogging and blood clots. The implantable bioartificial kidney is about the size of a coffee cup and consists of two main components that work together to get rid of wastes. First, the hemofilter, or blood filter, processes incoming blood to create “ultrafiltrate” that contains dissolved toxins, sugars, and salts. Second, a bioreactor containing kidney cells processes the ultrafiltrate and concentrates it into “urine,” which is directed to the bladder. The first versions of the device will not provide as much kidney function as a transplant or a healthy natural kidney, but enough to keep patients off dialysis. Device performance will improve in later versions with advances in technology. The artificial kidney must undergo multiple rounds of clinical trials before it is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) for widespread use. The goal is to have a device commercially available by the end of the decade (2030), but again this depends on the funding situation.

    *There is also an iHemo device being developed that would be an implantable dialysis device that performs hemodialysis within the body through a pump with a catheter. No needles and no blood leaves the body.

    July 5, 2023
  • KarinExpert
    Transplant Patient

    Hi! Gene edited pigs for kidney donation are being developed and even tested in brain dead people. Remains to be seen what the fda says. They are notoriously risk adverse in our space - we have to come together and have them push harder for new drugs and new supply of organs…

    July 6, 2023
  • TServoldTransplant Patient

    The FDA is risk adverse in the transplant space or the medical field in general? Why is that? is there not a return in preserving human life? (I understand that deceased donors are another level there)

    I realize that sounds like I am aggressively asking you those questions. That is NOT my intent. My intent is to just collect further data.

    July 6, 2023
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