Study of flow and mass transport in dialysers and dialysis machines and kinetic modelling

Patients suffering from renal insufficiency can be treated using a renal replacement therapy, such as hemodialysis. Hemodialysis is a blood purifying therapy in which the blood of a patient is circulated through a dialyser (artificial kidney) in an extracorporeal circuit during about 9-15 hours a week, spread over three sessions. A hollow fiber dialyser consists of thousands of small capillaries (diameter 180-200 µm, wall thickness 8-40 µm), produced of a semi-permeable membrane. Blood flows inside the capillaries while dialysate flows counter currently around them. Blood clearance and extra water removal is performed by the combination of diffusion (transport driven by a concentration difference), ultrafiltration and convection (transport driven by a pressure difference). Nowadays, a broad range of hollow fiber dialysers is available on the market, differing from each other in membrane type, surface area and/or filtration characteristics. Therefore, we developed new tools to quantify dialysis.

 

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