Dr. Ilaria Geremia

PhD Thesis:
Geremia, I. (2021). 
New membrane strategies for improved artificial kidney devices.
University of Twente. https://doi.org/10.3990/1.9789036551045


Patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) undergo hemodialysis to replace kidney function while waiting for organ transplantation. Although life-saving, conventional dialysis has major shortcomings: the treatment is time-consuming and the removal of waste molecules and excess of water is inadequate, contributing significantly to poor life quality, severe health problems and high mortality (15-20% per year). Moreover treatment’s costs are very high. The aim of my PhD project is the development of nanoporous polymeric materials for the purification of the dialysate used in hemodialysis as a crucial step on the way towards the construction of a wearable artificial kidney (WAK). A recycling system for the dialysate will reduce significantly the costs of medical cares and, allowing to carry out the dialysis at home without hospitalization, will improve the quality of life of patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD).

Large part of my work will be focused on the development of urea removal strategies (via sorbents and/or membranes) from the dialysate. Urea is the primary waste product of nitrogen metabolism and it exerts lethal toxic effects at high concentration. Its effective removal from the dialysate is crucial for successful dialysate regeneration, but no adequate strategy exists at the moment.




Geremia I., Borgogna M., Travan A., Marsich E., Paoletti S. and Donati I.; Determination of the Composition for Binary Mixtures of Polyanions: The Case of Mixed Solutions of Alginate and Hyaluronan; Biomacromolecules; 2014; 15 (3); pp 1069–1073