The First Kidney Dialysis Machine

His earliest design consisted of 50 yards of sausage casing wrapped around a wooden drum set in a saline solution.  He later experimented with using such components as orange juice cans and a washing machine designed for clothes.  For inspiration on how to get the cleansed blood back into the patient, he studied a water pump off of a Ford automotive engine. He is said to have even used metal from a downed German fighter plane. Dr. William Kolff died Wednesday, February 11, 2009. His obituary from the London Telegraph is fascinating. Hat tip to Wall Street Journal Blog.

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Eamonn M. says:

    If he did that today, he never would have gotten FDA approval. Or am I wrong. Is this contraption regulated as a device?

  2. Tom H. says:

    Don’t know if the FDA has jurisdiction, but the whole thing is rather amazing.