Patent on Wearable Artificial Kidney Granted By USPTO
The United States Patent Office issues a patent for a wearable artificial kidney to Nephrologists Victor Gura, MD, Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer of Wearable Artificial Organs Inc. The clinical trial is expected to start this year to test the third-generation device. The Patentee Gura is an associate clinical professor of medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, and his company, Wearable Artificial Organs Inc., was issued patent number 10,933,183 for “combination wearable and stationary dialysis systems,” according to the patent office website.
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Gura said that he has been working on reducing weight and streamlining the mechanisms of the wearable artificial kidney, or WAK, for the past 20 years. He held small clinical trials around the world after animal testing of the prototype 1.0 – which weighed more than 200 pounds – was replaced with version 2.0, which weighed 11 pounds. It was tested in three clinical trials in Vicenza, Italy; London, and Seattle.
In the press release, Gura said, “We are delighted with this new version of the WAK. It will free patients from spending long hours in bed or an armchair, tied up to a big machine in a dialysis clinic. A miniaturized, battery-operated wearable artificial kidney (WAK) can improve patient autonomy and has the potential to improve quality of life and reduce mortality”
Description and Patent Claims
The patent description says, “The first dialysis system can be configured to be coupled to a belt worn by the patient around [the] waist of the patient during its operation. The second dialysis system can [be] configured to be coupled to stationary support during its operation.
Claim 1- A hemodialysis system comprising: a dialyzer; a blood circuit, configured to receive blood from a patient and circulate the blood through the dialyzer to remove toxins from the blood; a sterile dialysate circuit, configured to circulate dialysate through the dialyzer to receive the toxins removed from the blood; a side-to-side pulsatile pump operably coupled to the blood circuit and the dialysate circuit to simultaneously drive the blood and the dialysate therethrough, wherein the side-to-side pulsatile pump comprises a horizontal configuration for actuating the blood and the dialysate, the side-to-side pulsatile pump comprising: a blood ventricle tubing fluidly coupled to the blood circuit; a dialysate ventricle tubing fluidly coupled to the dialysate circuit, the dialysate ventricle tubing parallel the blood ventricle tubing; and a compression disc therebetween; a daytime module comprising a daytime sorbent, wherein the daytime module is integrated with the sterile dialysate circuit; and a nighttime module comprising one or more nighttime sorbents, wherein the nighttime module is configured to be coupled to the sterile dialysate circuit for a stationary period, wherein when the nighttime modules is coupled to the sterile dialysate circuit, the one or more nighttime sorbents replace the daytime sorbent, such that the hemodialysis system is mobile when the nighttime module is not coupled to the sterile dialysate circuit, and the hemodialysis system is stationary when the nighttime module is coupled to the sterile dialysate circuit.
The background states that Hemodialysis can be a renal replacement therapy used by patients who have an end-stage renal disease (ESRD). These patients can no longer rely upon their kidneys to provide the desired removal of waste from the blood. Hemodialysis can involve the removal of toxins from a patient's blood using a dialyzer, where the toxins diffuse across a semipermeable membrane in the dialyzer to a dialysate solution due to a concentration gradient across the membrane. (Information taken from an official patent document that can be accessed here https://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PAL...)
A system for hemodialysis comprises a first dialysis system and a second dialysis system configured to be used in combination, in an alternating fashion, over a combined cycle, to provide hemodialysis for a patient, wherein the first dialysis system is configured to be worn by the patient during a first portion of the combined cycle, and wherein the second dialysis system is configured to be positioned on support independent of the patient during a second portion of the combined cycle.
Describing the device, Gura said, “the WAK is a system for hemodialysis [that] can include a first dialysis system and a second dialysis system configured to be used alternately to provide hemodialysis for a patient, wherein the first dialysis system is configured to be worn by the patient, and wherein the second dialysis system is configured to be positioned on a support independent of the patient.”