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Japanese researchers develop briefcase-sized portable dialysis machine

A team of Japanese researchers from the University of Yamanashi, Kobe University, Kawasaki University of Medical Welfare and Kitasato University has developed a briefcase-sized portable dialysis system for use by renal disease sufferers. This briefcase-sized portable dialysis system can prove a life-saver during disasters when medical care is difficult to access. The portable dialysis system measures 30 centimeters tall, 18 cm wide and 12 cm deep, weighs 3 to 4 kilograms with batteries. This makes it far smaller than conventional portable dialysis machines that are about the size of a mini fridge.

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 The portable dialysis system is equipped with a hemofilter that is one-eighth the size of its standard equivalent, and a blood-drawing pump about the size of an American $1 coin. Both of the downsized elements helped the team reduce the machine’s overall size. To check the device’s performance, the team has conducted experiments using goats, which have similarly large bodies with high blood volumes. The result showed the machine can filter their blood for up to two weeks without the need to change its pump.

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The new device can be taken anywhere it is required and (medical personnel) can quickly respond to patients in emergencies,” said Kenichi Matsuda, professor of emergency medicine at the University of Yamanashi and a representative of the research team. The researchers aim to start sales of the new device to medical institutions by 2023, after clinical tests are completed.