PORTLAND, Ore. (Nov. 5, 2008) – Home Dialysis Plus, Ltd. (HD+), a developer of advanced home hemodialysis devices, announces the signing of a licensing agreement with Oregon State University for exclusive global use of MECS technology in blood filtration and water treatment for dialysis.
Initial use of the technology will allow for the development of a micro-scale dialyzer, a key component in the company’s portable, cost-effective home dialysis system. The HD+ system is intentionally designed to offer patients the ability to experience dialysis treatments at night, while sleeping, in the comfort and safety of their own homes.
Originally developed in the late 90s, Micro-scale Energy and Chemical Systems or “MECS” technology miniaturizes chemical processes using very small channels (micro-channels) in place of conventional piping. By shrinking designs down into micro-channeled devices, MECS technology eliminates excess, unused volumes of materials from the design and improves efficiency. To date, MECS technology has primarily been used in defense and energy applications.
HD+’s utilization of MECS technology will allow for a miniaturized, more efficient dialyzer. Compared to a conventional dialyzer that requires 500-800 ml/min of dialysate to cleanse the blood, the HD+ dialyzer is expected to accomplish the needed level of toxin removal by using only 100 ml/min of dialysate. The amount of blood outside the patient’s body at any given time is also expected to decrease from the standard 120 ml’s to less than 50 ml’s with the HD+ system.
According to original MECS co-inventor and OSU researcher, Kevin Drost, Ph.D., “A dialyzer is a nearly perfect application for this technology given that the purpose of a dialyzer is to remove mass (impurities) from blood and transfer the impurities to a second fluid (dialysate). Reducing the size of a dialyzer and reducing the need for dialysate are both critical for home hemodialysis applications."
HD+ will also leverage the capabilities of MECS technology for microbiological purification of the water that is used in the dialysis machine. A MECS heat exchanger with a built-in heater will pasteurize the water as it enters the machine, killing harmful bacteria in the water used in the dialysate. The micro-channel device is expected to enable HD+ to meet the AAMI standard for ultra-pure water while using marginal amounts of energy - a mere 75 watts.
HD+ will be working with the Microproducts Breakthrough Institute (MBI) in their commercialization effort. Specialists at “creating small technologies that solve big problems”, MBI experts rely on advances in nanoscience and nanotechnology to create cutting edge micro-solutions that bridge the gap between invention and application.
Our relationship with HD+ exemplifies the heart of the MBI mission,” says MBI Co-Director Brian Paul, Ph.D., “This is an example of industry driving requirements so that university research can be more effective in solving real problems. These types of collaborations significantly broaden the impact of this research by pulling more ideas out of the lab and into the world where they have the potential to impact and improve the lives of many people.”
As a result of combining advanced MECS technologies with exclusively licensed HP inkjet technology, the HD+ system is expected to provide patients with a slower, gentler night time treatment which is a closer simulation of the body’s natural biological processes. This will improve patients’ dialysis results and dramatically reduce patients’ post-treatment recovery time. The ability to sleep during treatment will allow for improved flexibility and more day to day lifestyle control.
These technologies also make it possible to create a significantly smaller and more patient friendly dialysis machine. The reduced size will make portability a viable option for patients as the HD+ system will be easy to use at home or anywhere else that has access to tap water. For health care providers, the dialysis machine will make it simple and less expensive to train patients and their helpers to safely perform home treatments.
About Home Dialysis Plus, Ltd. (HD+) - Home Dialysis Plus, Ltd. (HD+) is focused on the advancement of home hemodialysis treatment for patients suffering from End Stage Renal Disease. Via the use of patented MECS technology along with exclusively licensed HP inkjet technology, the company aims to produce home treatment options that will offer improved health outcomes through ultra patient-friendly, portable hemodialysis machines. For more information please visit Home Dialysis Plus, Ltd.