Dutch scientists develop light, portable artificial kidney

Researchers from the Dutch kidney foundation have developed an artificial kidney the size of an iPad which will allow patients to undergo dialysis where ever they like, RTL news reports on Friday.

At the moment, kidney patients have to undergo dialysis in a hospital which takes hours at a time. The new artificial kidney will undergo human trials from 2015 and should be freely available from 2017, RTL news said.

The foundation hopes it will reduce deaths among kidney patients. ‘If you can choose where and when you undergo dialysis, you can have a better fit with the way your kidneys work,’ the foundation’s director Tom Oostrom told the broadcaster.

One in 250 Dutch people is a kidney patient and 6,500 undergo dialysis every day.

Dutch doctor Willem Kolff developed the world’s first artificial kidney during World War II, using parts of a German bomber and sausage casings.