15.02.2019 change 15.02.2019

Safer dialysis with the invention from the University of Warsaw

Photo: Fotolia Photo: Fotolia

Researchers at the University of Warsaw have created an innovative device for monitoring hemodialysis. It allows to track of the course of the procedure, resulting in a more effective and safer therapy, the inventors argue.

The inventors inform in the press release sent to PAP that the prototype - developed by a university spin-off Microanalysis - is currently in the testing phase in cooperation with the Medical University of Warsaw.

The analyser automatically performs continuous measurement of toxins removed from the patient`s body in the post-dialysis fluid. This method of operation is completely non-invasive for the patient. Doctor and staff operating haemodialysis machines - artificial kidneys - can track the current progress of the procedure and its effects. This allows to adjust the duration of the procedure and react if it does not go as planned.

Normally, the blood of patients undergoing dialysis is analysed once every few weeks. Based on these results and other information, doctors plan the frequency and duration of subsequent dialyses. But they are not able to take into account many factors affecting the effectiveness of individual procedures, because these factors change from day to day. This means that to a certain extent, the duration of dialysis is determined theoretically, instead of reflecting the current needs of the patient.

"The use of reliable, real-time haemodialysis monitoring would help to verify and improve current medical procedures and mathematical models used to plan dialyses. The collected data will allow to better predict the parameters that should be set at the beginning of therapy and for each treatment" - says Michał Michalec, one of the creators of the device quoted in the press materials.

His associate, Dr. Łukasz Tymecki from the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Warsaw, adds that the device can work with any model of artificial kidney. "It also works selectively; post-dialysis fluid contains various toxins, including urea, creatinine and phosphates, called reference toxins. Our analyser determines the content of these substances in real time" - says Dr. Tymecki. "This allows to observe, in real time, that the amount of toxins in the fluid during the dialysis process decreases to the desired level, which allows to reduce the time of the procedure. Based on the data from toxin level and content monitoring, the doctor can determine how well the dialysis is performed, and draw various other conclusions for use in therapy and treatment of future patients" - describes the researcher.

According to the researchers, the novelty is the use of a device capable of monitoring 100 percent chemical methods. "Manufacturers of artificial kidneys offer optional dialysis monitoring equipment, but they obtain dialysis data based on physicochemical measurement, for example by measuring the dialysate conductivity. Moreover, these additional elements significantly increase the price of the dialysis machine. The device developed by Microanalysis costs only a fraction of the price of an artificial kidney" - reads the press release.

The invention was developed based on research conducted at the Faculty of Chemistry of the University of Warsaw by the founders of the spin-off Microanalysis: Dr. Łukasz Tymecki and Michał Michalec. Work on creating a personal dialysis monitor based on information that can be obtained from the post-dialysis fluid has been conducted since 2011.

PAP - Science in Poland

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