A project to develop technology that could improve outcomes for people with kidney disease received a boost, following a £1 million grant.
More than 2.5 million people worldwide have kidney conditions that require their blood to be routinely filtered by a dialysis machine. Most patients undergo a surgical procedure to prepare their veins for coping with the filtration process. This involves a surgeon creating a connection in the arm, called a fistula, between an artery and a vein, which is then connected to a dialysis machine. Although they are the gold standard in medical care, fistulas are unreliable, often blocking up and requiring repeated costly repair operations. In the US alone, $US 4.6 billion is spent annually to treat failing fistulas.
ePATH system is more intuitive and less invasive for patients
Now researchers from Imperial College London are developing the first minimally invasive procedure that uses a synthetic tube, called a stent graft, to form the fistula for dialysis. The team have also developed the prototype technology for inserting the stent graft between a patient’s artery and vein with precision and accuracy.
The device is called an Electronic Percutaneous Anastomosis Technology for Haemodialysis or ePATH. The researchers have received the £1 million funding from the NHS National Institute for Health Research to further develop the system and take it through patient trials.
The device enables a stent to be deployed inside the arm
To read more about this research, read the Imperial College article