In 1913, Abel et. al. demonstrated that using the principle of hemodialysis, they were able to remove diffusible substances from the circulating blood of rabbits. This principle of hemodialysis remained as an experimental curiosity until about 30 years later when Kolff successfully developed a hemodialyser that can be used effectively for the treatment of patients with renal failure (Kolff, 1944, 1947, also in this volume). However, long-term maintenance of patients was associated with the difficulty of repeated accesses to the blood vessels. It took another 15 years for Scribner’s group (Quinton et. al., 1961) to develop the arteriovenous shunt which makes it possible for long-term intermittant accesses to blood vessels of patients. Since that time the use of hemodialysis for the long-term maintenance of patients with chronic renal failure has become an established procedure. At present there are many patients who have been maintained alive for more than 10 years by long-term hemodialysis. The standard hemodialysers are based on the principle of, (1) dialysis for the removal of diffusible molecules and (2) ultrafiltration for the removal of water and sodium chloride (Fig. 1).


Arteriovenous Shunt Chronic Renal Failure Patient Artificial Cell Artificial Liver Artificial Kidney 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. M. S. Chang
    • 1
  1. 1.Artificial Organs Research Unit, McIntyre Medical Sciences BuildingMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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