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PLoS One. 2016 Jul 20;11(7):e0159526. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0159526. eCollection 2016.

Diffusive Silicon Nanopore Membranes for Hemodialysis Applications.

Author information

  • 1Division of Nephrology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
  • 2Department of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
  • 3Ben Chui Consulting, Sunnyvale, California, United States of America.
  • 4H-Cubed, Olmsted Falls, Ohio, United States of America.
  • 5Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
  • 6Silicon Kidney, LLC, San Francisco, California, United States of America.
  • 7Division of Nephrology & Hypertension, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America.
  • 8Department of Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, United States of America.

Abstract

Hemodialysis using hollow-fiber membranes provides life-sustaining treatment for nearly 2 million patients worldwide with end stage renal disease (ESRD). However, patients on hemodialysis have worse long-term outcomes compared to kidney transplant or other chronic illnesses. Additionally, the underlying membrane technology of polymer hollow-fiber membranes has not fundamentally changed in over four decades. Therefore, we have proposed a fundamentally different approach using microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication techniques to create thin-flat sheets of silicon-based membranes for implantable or portable hemodialysis applications. The silicon nanopore membranes (SNM) have biomimetic slit-pore geometry and uniform pores size distribution that allow for exceptional permeability and selectivity. A quantitative diffusion model identified structural limits to diffusive solute transport and motivated a new microfabrication technique to create SNM with enhanced diffusive transport. We performed in vitro testing and extracorporeal testing in pigs on prototype membranes with an effective surface area of 2.52 cm2 and 2.02 cm2, respectively. The diffusive clearance was a two-fold improvement in with the new microfabrication technique and was consistent with our mathematical model. These results establish the feasibility of using SNM for hemodialysis applications with additional scale-up.

PMID:
27438878
PMCID:
PMC4954641
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0159526
[PubMed - in process]
Free PMC Article
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