Design and modeling of a portable hemodialysis system
Olson, Jeffrey Carter
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Research to improve artificial renal replacement therapies is varied across the many different parts of a hemodialysis system. Work largely focuses on developing a better dialyzer - the component that is directly responsible for removing wastes from the blood - but less study is devoted to the entire hemodialysis system. This work seeks to improve hemodialysis in two ways: by proposing a new renal replacement therapy that does not rely on traditional hemodialysis components, and by investigating the feasibility of adapting current hemodialysis practices to a portable format. While an alternative renal replacement therapy may be the best solution to today's dialysis problems, this work further focuses on reducing hemodialysis to a portable format through systematic engineering design. In that process, a detailed system model is made in Simulink that can account for the large number of inputs of such a system - the blood flow rate, dialyzer size, treatment time, etc. - allowing for detailed exploration of the design space. Once the model is completed, it is verified through in vitro experiments carried out with porcine blood. Additionally, the model is verified against published human hemodialysis data. After model verification, hemodialysis concepts are generated that allow for maximum portability under different patient conditions.