Dr. Natalia Chevtchik

dr. Natalia Chevtchik

PhD thesis: 
Chevtchik, N. V. (2017) 
Development of an upscaled bioartificial kidney
Enschede: University of Twente DOI: 10.3990/1.9789036543842  


The rising incidence of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in the world necessitates a large application of kidney replacement therapy and/or hemodialysis. Due to the lack of kidney donors the dialysis treatment in ESRD patients is actually a commonly used blood purification technique. More frequently, hemodialysis is performed by peritoneum membrane or by artificial kidney, an artificial membrane module for external hemodialysis. These high costs methods however result in the incomplete removal of toxins, and the inadequate removal of body fluids that leads to reduced quality of life for the patient and serious health problems with high morbidity.

A more complete dialysis can be achieved by mimicking the human renal proximal tube, via the development of a Bioartificial Kidney (BAK) device: biological cells supported by artificial scaffold. Several prototypes of BAKs have been developed over the last decade, but many challenges remain to be overcome before creation of clinically relevant products.

The main aim of this project is to develop bioactive hollow fiber membranes for a BAK device. One side of the membrane will be in contact with blood and/or plasma and therefore should be highly haemocompatible to prevent blood coagulation, whereas the other membrane side should be cytocompatible and bioactive for adhesion of the conditionally immortalized proximal tubule cells (ciPTEC).

To reach these objectives, in the first phase of the project, a bioreactor will be constructed in order to support the growth of the ciPTEC cells. Different bioactive membranes will be evaluated for their ability to support ciPTEC function under uremic conditions. The capacity of the BAK device to excrete uremic toxins of broad range of molecular weights (60 Da to >30 kDa) will be determined. Finally, the cytocompatibility and hemocompatibylity of the membrane device are going to be evaluated.