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Analytical and Finite Element Modeling of Nanomembranes for Miniaturized, Continuous Hemodialysis.


Hemodialysis involves large, periodic treatment doses using large-area membranes. If the permeability of dialysis membranes could be increased, it would reduce the necessary dialyzer size and could enable a wearable device that administers a continuous, low dose treatment of chronic kidney disease. This paper explores the application of ultrathin silicon membranes to this purpose, by way of analytical and finite element models of diffusive and convective transport of plasma solutes during hemodialysis, which we show to be predictive of experimental results. A proof-of-concept miniature nanomembrane dialyzer design is then proposed and analytically predicted to clear uremic toxins at near-ideal levels, as measured by several markers of dialysis adequacy. This work suggests the feasibility of miniature nanomembrane-based dialyzers that achieve therapeutic levels of uremic toxin clearance for patients with kidney failure.