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The artificial glomerulus design using diffusion in microchannels

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This paper presents a device that can effectively separate wastes urea from a blood. In the previous researches, the blood purification was done by mass transfer through the membrane. The blood purification by membrane needs large control system and expensive dialysates. The concept of the blood purification based on a microchannel was introduced by E. Weinberg’s group. But their devices still had porous membrane structures. The glomerulus microchannel proposes the method of the fractionation between albumin and other components. In the glomerulus microchannel, the large particles of albumin and the small particles of urea and glucose are separated by diffusion. The artificial glomerulus is designed by analytical solutions and finite element method analysis. And the device is fabricated using the soft lithography technology. The least sectional area is 50 μm (depth) by 40 μm (width). The experiments of microfluidic separation are executed using the mixed solution of albumin, urea and glucose. The results of the experiments have been inspected through a blood chemistry analyzer. The efficiency of the separation of glomerulus microchannel is 33.3%. This paper proposes the possibility of the blood purification with only microchannel without membrane and dialysate. If it is successful, it will be able to develop the portable artificial kidney.

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Correspondence to Bum-Kyoo Choi.

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Lee, SJ., Choi, BK. The artificial glomerulus design using diffusion in microchannels. Int. J. Precis. Eng. Manuf. 13, 307–310 (2012).

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