An artificial kidney powered by the circulatory system could be the first implantable device to replace kidney donation and dialysis, scientists say.
Led by a University of California-San Francisco scientist, a consortium of about 10 different research teams unveiled a new artificial kidney prototype this week, saying a room-sized version has already shown promise for the sickest patients. Fabrication processes used to make silicon chips could conceivably be used to make coffee-cup-sized devices, which could take thousands of people off dialysis machines or kidney-donor waiting lists.
Daily insulin injections make it hard
for many diabetics to control blood sugar well enough to prevent serious complications like blindness and kidney failure. Now Pfizer and Sanofi-Aventis offer up the painless Exubera, an inhaler that delivers aerosolized insulin to the lungs, which quickly absorb the drug over their large surface area. A single puff just before meals can stabilize blood sugar as effectively as a shot. A Food and Drug Administration panel voted to approve Exubera this fall based on results from more than 52 clinical trials conducted over 10 years.