Ilaria Geremia

Room: Zuidhorst 233 
Telephone number: +31 (0)53 4892910


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.


  • Master degree in Biotechnology, curriculum: Nanobiotechnology
    Master Thesis: Development and characterization of bioactive membranes based on polysaccharides
    University of Trieste, Department of Life Sciences
  • Bachelor degree in Biotechnology
    Bachelor Thesis: Characterization of polymeric and nanocomposite systems in the field of Biomaterials
    University of Trieste, Department of Life Sciences


  • 2015 – at present: PhD student “Development of nanoporous polymeric materials for blood purification”
    BST – Biomaterials Science and Technology Group
    University of Twente – The Netherlands
  • March 2014 – October 2014: Research collaborator at the Department of Pharmacy and Biochemistry of the Gutenberg University of Mainz
    Chemical modifications of dextran for gene and drug delivery
  • September 2013 – December 2013
    Research collaborator at the Biomaterials Group of the Department of Life Sciences – University of Trieste
    Research and development of polymers-based biomaterials.


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