improve blood flow in the veins
Researchers designed an AVF device, using AI and aerospace simulation software. The device may ultimately improve dialysis for kidney patients.
A research team from Imperial College London has used computer modelling techniques. Normally employed to simulate how unsteady air pockets flow over a plane. To model how unsteady currents in blood flow in the veins of patients undergoing dialysis.
When kidneys stop working properly dialysis can be used to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood by diverting it to a machine to be cleaned. To connect this machine to the patient a special junction must be formed between an artery and a vein in the patient’s wrist or upper arm. This junction called an arterio-venous fistulae (AVF).
AI and aerospace industry
The team has used modelling techniques from the aerospace industry to train a computer, using machine learning algorithms. Machine learning provides systems the ability to automatically learn and improve from the experience without explicitly programmed.
The AI optimized the shape of an AVF so that the unsteadiness in the blood flow could suppress. The prototype device holds the AVF in the optimal shape far undergone preliminary tests in pigs, which have successful.
To carrying out trials with pig’s, researchers test the effectiveness of the AVF device. Even if these trials success they will be several years away from carrying out clinical trials with patients.
Dr. Peter Vincent, co-author from the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College London, said, we routinely use computer simulations to study air flow over aeroplanes. The same techniques can now use to optimize medical devices, including AVF.
Hemodialysis is a life-sustaining treatment used by millions of patients worldwide who have kidney failure. These patients depend on AVF procedures to clean their blood. However, disfunction and failure in the AVF are a real problem for these patients.
This technology offers great promise for these patients. Improving outcomes from AVF surgery could potentially reduce the need for repeated operations.
Researchers hope that their prototype AVF technology could benefit other medical procedures to optimize the shape of blood vessel connections.
More information: [Imperial College London]