Without a transplant, patients with kidney failure need dialysis to stay alive. Dialysis does a good job of cleaning the blood and removing extra fluid, but it takes a lot of time and can hurt a patient’s quality of life. Since the 1970s, doctors have been trying to make a dialysis machine that patients can wear. The hope has always been to free patients from a huge machine that keeps them tied down. But there were no parts small and light enough to make dialysis machines wearable
Groups in the United States and other countries are doing studies on different types of wearable kidneys. These include devices for hemodialysis, peritoneal dialysis, and one machine combines both hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis. These machines have small parts that weigh less, long lasting batteries, and filters that can reuse dialysate without the need for a lot of purified water. These advances make it possible for people to wear a dialysis device that isn’t very heavy and can be worn under clothing.