Project Summary

CKD and Dialysis treatment

The kidneys play an essential role in our bodies, such as regulating water levels and removing waste. However, various factors such as lifestyle diseases can lead to renal failure, which requires dialysis treatment to replace kidney function. Blood dialysis, which is received by 340,000 people in Japan and 2.6 million people worldwide, is a well-established treatment. However, it poses challenges to patient quality of life, such as time constraints due to weekly hospital visits for four hours per session, physical damage from rapid treatment, and strict dietary restrictions. Additionally, the annual medical expenses exceed 1.57 trillion yen in Japan, presenting a significant economic burden.

A new proposal for hybrid renal replacement therapy

Our research group has proposed a hybrid renal replacement therapy that combines the i-Azinzo implantable artificial kidney with conventional dialysis treatment to improve the quality of life for dialysis patients. i-Azinzo performs continuous blood filtration, removing excess water and waste. Depending on the patient’s remaining kidney function, the frequency of dialysis can be significantly reduced to approximately once a week. This not only greatly eases water intake restrictions but also eliminates the reduction in water volume during dialysis, thus reducing the risk of chronic hypertension and cardiovascular events.

i-Azinzo: Implantable Artificial Kidney

i-Azinzo has a stacked filter structure with alternating dialysis membranes and microchannels. It is very lightweight and compact, about half the size of a kidney, making it suitable for implantation in the body. By connecting to an artery and a vein, blood pressure differences are utilized to perform blood filtration, producing approximately 1.5L of artificial urine per day, which is excreted into the bladder.

i-Azinzo’s unique internal structure exhibits high antithrombotic properties, aiming to achieve long-term durability as an artificial organ.


Norihisa Miki
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Keio University
Takashi Ota
Research fellow
The Department of Mechanical Engineering at Keio University
Yoshihiko Kanno
Chief Professor
The Nephrology Department at Tokyo Medical University
Sanamedi Inc.,
Business Promoter
Our project has been accepted for the START program sponsored by JST.