Researchers receive funding to develop better kidney dialysis

U of S researchers Dr. Ahmed Shoker and Assem Hedayat have been awarded $789,000 to develop and commercialize new dialysis technology that promises to reduce the length and number of sessions required by patients with kidney disease.

The funding was announced September 30 at Royal University Hospital by Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatchewan Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations.

Yelich touted the potential of the project to "enhance the lifespan and quality of life for hemodialysis patients, as well as significantly reduce the costs of hemodialysis in both the short- and long-term." Likewise, Cheveldayoff praised the project as an demonstrating Saskatchewan's ability to be a leader in medical research for the province and around the world.

Shoker is director of the kidney transplant program at St. Paul's Hospital in Saskatoon as well as head of transplant surgery with the U of S College of Medicine.

Hedayat specializes in biomaterials research and applications. He is a research scientist in the College of Medicine, an assistant professor of dental materials in the College of Dentistry, and an adjunct professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering at the College of Engineering.

Funding will be used to develop and commercialize a product designed and manufactured in Saskatchewan, for marketing to medical institutions throughout Canada and around the world. The new treatment system will be more efficient, reducing the frequency of hemodialysis treatments and time per session – a great advantage, particularly for residents in rural and remote communities who must travel to larger centres several times a week for treatment.

The technology promises to improve quality of care and increase life expectancy in patients with kidney failure, while drastically reducing the costs of hemodialysis.
The full text of the Western Diversification Canada news release is here:

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