Researchers Lay the Groundwork for Bioartificial Kidney

biological kidney

If your kidney function drops to 10 to 15 percent, you may need dialysis treatments to maintain your health and quality of life. Dialysis is an effective way to do the work your kidneys can't to remove waste and excess fluids, and prevent certain chemicals from becoming toxic. It's also an effective way to help control your blood pressure when your kidneys aren't working properly.

But there's no way around the fact that getting dialysis treatments is a big time commitment. A typical dialysis treatment plan takes about four hours per session three times a week, according to the National Kidney Foundation. Other factors can also have an impact on time and frequency for dialysis treatments.

But it's not ideal. Sometimes kidneys recover after dialysis. Sometimes they don't. When that happens, you'll need dialysis treatments for the rest of your life. The better option could be a kidney transplant. Unfortunately, the average wait time for a donor kidney is three to five years.

But what if it didn't take that long? What if you could get a new kidney made from your own DNA? It might sound like something from a science-fiction novel, but it's not.

Researchers in the Netherlands are laying the groundwork to develop a bioartificial kidney grown from human cells. In the most recent lab test, researchers were able to create a living, functional membrane that could be used to produce a bioartificial kidney.

It's an exciting advancement that may eventually eliminate long wait times for a kidney transplant. But until that happens, it's critical to manage your health and your diet when you're on dialysis. When you're thinking about what to eat, remember that you need to limit the amount of sodium, potassium, and phosphorus in your diet. But it doesn't have to be complicated. Just take a look at all the Dialysis-Friendly meal options on our menu.