COLUMBIA (WACH) - Dialysis is a treatment that does some of the things done by healthy kidneys. It is needed when your own kidneys can no longer take care of your body's needs. You need dialysis when you develop end stage kidney failure --usually by the time you lose about 85 to 90 percent of your kidney function. When your kidneys fail, dialysis keeps your body in balance by: removing waste, salt and extra water to prevent them from building up in the body; keeping a safe level of certain chemicals in your blood, such as potassium, sodium and bicarbonate; and helping to control blood pressure.
â??Weâ??ve been involved in developing a bioengineered blood vessel really since the late 1990s. Itâ??s been very exciting work. The developed tube is intended to be used as a general blood vessel for sort ovascularf replacements anywhere in the body. This past year, we started our first in man clinical trials using this blood vessel and thatâ??s been used in a unique application for whatâ??s called vascular access for hemodialysis. That is really used as a prototype model for blood vessels in many applications, but this dialysis situation is a safe and easy way to begin to test the new vascular technology. So, we started using these blood vessels in that area. We hope to ultimately someday be able to use these blood vessels in things like the heart and the brain and really throughout the body.â??