The first human trial of an artificial ‘bio’ kidney has shown encouraging results, offering hope of a working implant for patients, say US experts.

Ten kidney patients at the University of Michigan tested the device, which works in the same way as dialysis but is partly made of human cells.

Eventually, scientists hope the device will become an implantable long-term replacement for failing kidneys.

The patients were all seriously ill with acute renal failure and other medical conditions.

Each received up to 24 hours treatment with the renal tubule assistant device (RAD).

The device is used outside the body and helps filter toxins from the blood.

It is made up of hollow fibres lined with the type of kidney cells that reabsorb vital electrolytes, water, and glucose filtered out of blood, in addition to producing other important molecules that the body needs to fight infection.

This makes it more similar to a real kidney than conventional dialysis machines.

In the study, six of the ten patients survived more than 30 days after the treatment with the RAD.

Several of the patients had to be taken off the treatment early because of reactions such as low blood sugar levels or because of complications related to their other medical conditions.

More here.