AWAK Technologies attracted a fair bit of interest with their portable peritoneal dialysis unit, and our post on their device has been among one of the most popular. Now they have turned their attention to hemodialysis.
The special feature of their portable unit is the way it recycles the dialysate, thus reducing the volume of liquid required. They say it can be recycled indefinitely. Something which would help keep the cost of treatment down. Conventional hemodialysis uses about 120 litres of ultra-pure water to make the dialysate used in a single treatment, and the used dialysate is discarded. Just a bit wasteful.
The AWAK sorbent unit requires less than 6 litres of tap water and regenerates and reconstitutes spent dialysate into fresh dialysate. This unique feature eliminates the needs for expensive purification water system, thus, enabling dialysis to be performed in areas where such supplies are lacking. Less water equates to significantly less energy for heating the dialysate. AWAK say that their sorbent technology can be adapted to suit different dialysis modes and machines, and is smaller than current sorbent systems, which enables development of more portable devices. In earthquake victims, where Rhabdomyolysis can reduce the survival rates without proper treatment, portable units could help those who didn't get the proper treatment they initially needed and are at risk of ending up with damaged kidneys.
The sorbent system used was co-invented by Dr. David B. N. Lee and Dr. Martin Roberts (both of the Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA), and their technology has been exclusively licensed by the University of California at Los Angeles and the Department of Veteran Affairs to AWAK Technologies