Portable kidney dialysis machine developed

CORVALLIS A Portland company is using an emerging microtechnology from Oregon State University to develop a portable kidney dialysis machine that will make in-home treatment a reality, enabling hundreds of thousands of people afflicted with kidney failure to treat themselves at home instead of traveling to dialysis clinics three days a week.

"Current dialysis machines are based on 30-year-old technology and employ filter systems that are only about 28 percent efficient," said Michael Baker, chief executive officer of Home Dialysis Plus, the firm developing the device.

"By employing the microtechnology being developed at OSU's College of Engineering, the filter efficiency skyrockets to about 90 percent," Baker said. "And we're able to reduce the dimensions of a dialysis machine from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a piece of carry-on luggage, which makes treatment portable."

Baker said that more than 600 jobs could be associated with the device when production begins.

OSU researchers and Home Dialysis Plus officials say the reduced size and increased efficiency will improve the lives of dialysis patients because treatments will be done in the home while patients are asleep at night. Many dialysis patients now have to limit travel and other opportunities due to time-consuming treatments that can take up to four hours.

"A growing number of studies indicate that longer and/or more frequent in-home dialysis offers not only superior therapy, but also the opportunity to reduce costs," Baker said. "These revelations are prompting more and more dialysis patients to demand the health benefits, the convenience, and the quality of life that in-home dialysis has to offer. We launched Home Dialysis Plus to give dialysis patients the life-improving technology they've been asking for."

Home Dialysis Plus was founded by Altman Browning and Company, a Portland product development firm that has been working closely with researchers at the OSU C

Contact: Ron Adams
Oregon State University

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