Bioartificial kidney (and an installation with take-away kidneys)

A bioartificial kidney has been developed by David Humes at the University of Michigan. It could help intensive care patients with kidney failure, replacing treatments such as continuous dialysis therapies.

The new device for kidney failure adds billions of kidney cells that closely mimick the many important functions of the kidney. Human proximal tubule cells are collected from kidneys obtained by an organization that provides researchers with tissues and organs anatomically unsuitable for transplant.

Via Eurekalert.

This fascinating news provides me with a god-given opportunity to blog about Your Kidney Supermarket by Shilpa Gupta


Maybe inspired by the man who tried to sell a kidney on eBay, the Indian artist’s installation portrays a future global organ trading system where moral concerns have no place and an organ is just another ware whose trade is based on capitalistic principles.

The out of control consumer greed, often concealed by the utopia of beneficial globalisation, is exposed by the artworks’ cheerful showcases, in which “take-away” kidneys are waiting for their customer, and luxurious offers are available online for medicinal tourism. Visitors are informed about organ trade routes, reminiscent of colonial times, as well as the life history of donors, who sell their organs for financial reasons.

If you’re lucky enough to be in Tokyo, the installation is part of the Art meets Media :adventures in perception exhibition at the Intercommunication Center.