Artificial Kidney

An Artificial Kidney is a device to filter the blood of patients whose kidneys are entirely damaged. In cases of renal failure, the various mineral salts and toxic substances go on accumulating in the blood and the body fluid, thereby disturbing homeostasis. It leads to oedema due to the retention of surplus water in the body. In such patients, Artificial Kidneys are used for the removal of surplus water, excess salts, toxic substances and other unwanted substances from the blood.
First, we have to know the Kidney Disorders, which leads to kidney failure.

Kidney Disorders

The kidney plays a vital role in maintaining homeostasis and keeping the body in a healthy state. Any irregularity which appears in the normal functioning of the kidneys may lead to kidney failure and may prove fatal. The various disorder of the Kidneys are as follows:
Kidney Disorders
  • Haematuria 

    Haematuria(Blood in Urine), In this disease, blood is passed out along with urine. The usual cause of this disease is the toxin produced in certain types of fever. Some drugs like turpentine, cantharides, carbonic acid etc. can also create the symptoms of this disease.

  • Uraemia

     In this disease, excessive urea is retained in the blood because of the failure of nephrons to extract urea from the blood.

  •  Glucosuria

    Glycosuria or Glucosuria ( glucose in the urine ), In this disease, the level of blood sugar rises to a very great extent. The excess of glucose from the blood is removed along with urine.

  • Nephritis 

    Nephritis or Bright’s Disease is the nonsuppurative inflammation of the kidneys due to bacterial infection. In chronic cases, it may lead to uraemia and oedema.

  • Pyelonephritis

    Pyelitis and Pyelonephritis, Pyelitis is the inflammation of the pelvis, whereas, in pyelonephritis, the inflammation extends to the substance of the Kidney.

  • Kidney Stone

     Kidney stones are formed by the precipitation of uric acid, calcium phosphate and calcium oxalate. These may be created in the kidneys, pelvis, ureters, urinary tubules and urethra. They cause severe pain and blockage when present in the ureters, urinary bladder or urethra. They are removed surgically, but some types of them may also be dissolved.


These Kidney Disorders can lead to Kidney failure. Due to kidney failure, kidneys do not function normally and cannot filter out the toxins and unwanted wastes on their own. This is when there is a need for an Artificial Kidney. The removal of unwanted substances from the body through an Artificial Kidney is called Dialysisi.e. diffusion of small molecules through a semipermeable membrane. 

Artificial Kidney

The Artificial Kidney consists of a cellophane tube, suspended in a circulating bath fluid, having the same composition as normal blood except that no urea is present. Blood of the patient is pumped from one of the arteries into the cellophane tube, which is attached with a vein on the other end. Substances present in the blood and bath fluid diffuse through the pores in the cellophane tube according to their concentration gradient. In this way, nitrogenous waste products, excess salts and other excretory products diffuse out of the blood through the pores in the cellophane tube, and purified blood passes into the vein of the patient. Plasma proteins remain in the blood because pores in the cellophane tube are too small to permit the passage of these large molecules.

Artificial Kidney acts as a lifesaver for many who are suffering from kidney failure.

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