The start signal was recently given for the NOVAMEM project, led by Prof. Dimitrios Stamatialis of the University of Twente. Scientists from various Dutch research centres are working together with industry in this project on new dialysis membranes that are suitable for continuous use and that remove large as well as small toxic molecules from the blood.
Kidney patients who are on dialysis have to visit the dialysis centre several times a week. This is not only inconvenient, but also means that toxin levels in the blood are subject to fluctuation because the blood is not continuously purified. Moreover, current dialysis techniques cannot cope adequately with large toxic molecules and protein-bound toxins. The aim of the NOVAMEM project is to develop a new generation of dialysis membranes capable of purifying the blood continuously and of removing larger toxic molecules and protein-bound toxins as well as the smaller toxic molecules from the blood. The availability of such membranes would bring the portable artificial kidneys a step closer, thus contributing to a better quality of life for a large group of patients.
Scientists from the MIRA research institute of the University of Twente are working on this project alongside researchers from the Radboud University Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Utrecht University Medical Centre and the companies Neokidney Development B.V. and Aspen Oss B.V. The project, set up for an initial period of three years, receives a subsidy of 600 thousand Euros from the Life Sciences and Health Top Sector, one of the nine key sectors of the Dutch economy designated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for their ability to make a substantial contribution to global societal challenges. (For further information about the activities of this Top Sector, please visit the Health~Holland portal.)