BROOKLYN, N.Y., Aug. 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Conventional hemodialysis technology lacks the ability to remove certain toxins in the blood. As a result of the inefficient clearance, certain toxic molecules accumulate to significantly high levels in the tissues of patients with end- stage renal disease (often 20x-100x higher than in individuals with normal renal function). Improved hemodialysis technology is necessary in order to remove these uremic toxins.
Under the direction of Director Nathan W. Levin, MD, FACP, FCP(SA), and with the scientific guidance of Lead Researcher Dr. Garry Handelman, Dialyze Direct formed the Dialyze Direct Innovation Lab to address these challenges, looking for new materials, methods and devices to improve the efficacy of today’s dialysis machines. Dr. Levin’s career spans 60 years in nephrology as a clinician, professor, and researcher. He is the founder and past medical and research director of the Renal Research Institute (RRI), which under his leadership, gained global recognition for training research fellows from countries around the world in kidney disease-related clinical research. Dr. Handelman is a nationally leading scientist specialized in enhancing efficiency of dialysis clearance.
Dialyze Direct Innovation Lab is currently pursuing two research programs, both aimed at improving the ability of dialysis process to remove additional toxins.
The first strategy utilizes closed-circuit plasmapheresis (a technique that temporarily separates plasma from the other parts of the bloodstream, for the purposes of cleaning the plasma of harmful substances). DDIL is working to identify a high-affinity binding substance that will trap the toxic molecules carried on the plasma components, while allowing the rest of the essential protein components to return to the bloodstream without the toxin substances.
The second strategy, being conducted in collaboration with researchers at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), seeks to develop a new nanotechnology to remove toxins from the blood more quickly and effectively than today’s standard polymer-based dialysis membranes. Led by Professor Rohit Karnik, Ph.D., the head of MIT’s Microfluidics and Nanofluidics Research Laboratory, this project will focus on creating a graphene-based dialysis membrane capable of enabling dialysis to move closer to true “renal replacement,” more closely mimicking kidney function, compared to today’s dialysis, which can only remove limited types of waste products in the blood.
Graphene, a unique ultra-lightweight, highly elastic “wonder material,” is a lattice of carbon atoms 200 times stronger than steel that has been explored for many cutting-edge applications, mainly in electronics (e.g.: fast charging batteries; razor-thin, bendable cell-phones; highly efficient water filtration systems perforated with miniature holes). The membrane is less than 1 nanometer thick, the thinnest membrane that can ever be made.
The number of people in the US who will need dialysis in the future is quickly increasing. Approximately 37 million people in the United States have chronic kidney disease (CKD), and approximately 500,000 people are receiving dialysis treatment.
Dialyze Direct is a leading kidney care innovation company, pioneering breakthrough solutions for patients suffering from kidney disease. Dialyze Direct has created a staff-assisted home hemodialysis model resulting in significantly improved patient outcomes and quality of life while substantially decreasing costs for payors. With a mission to build the next generation of kidney care, Dialyze Direct works with the world’s leading nephrology talent to develop new methods and technology to evolve the treatment options nephrologists have at their disposal. Dialyze Direct has operations in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas, and is in the process of launching operations in an additional five states.
SOURCE Dialyze Direct