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Portable dialysis machine is developed

CORVALLIS, Ore., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- An Oregon company is using emerging micro technology from Oregon State University to develop a portable kidney dialysis machine.

"Current dialysis machines are based on 30-year-old technology and employ filter systems that are only about 28 percent efficient," said Michael Baker, chief executive officer of Home Dialysis Plus, the Portland firm developing the device.

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Added Baker: "By employing the micro technology being developed at OSU's College of Engineering, the filter efficiency skyrockets to about 90 percent. And we're able to reduce the dimensions of a dialysis machine from the size of a refrigerator to the size of a piece of carry-on luggage, which makes treatment portable."

The apparatus might eventually enable hundreds of thousands of people afflicted with kidney failure to treat themselves at home, instead of traveling to dialysis clinics three days a week.

OSU researchers said the reduced size and increased efficiency will improve the lives of dialysis patients because treatments will be done overnight in the home, while patients are asleep.

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