Background The present paper is about developing an indigenous technology to spin ultra low-cost hemodialysis fibres. It presents a complete engineering design and specific operating conditions to spin dialysis grade, hollow fibre membranes.
Methods Simple, lab-made, disposable needle assemblies have been used to extrude fibres, replacing the conventional spinneret-based technique. A complete arrangement of spinning paraphernalia has been designed and discussed to make the process less energy intensive. Biocompatible polymer such as polysulfone (PSf) has been used as base material, along with biocompatible additives such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and polyethylene glycol (PEG-200).
Results Three grades of hollow fibres have been spun (6, 12 and 16 kDa molecular weight cut-off) and are characterised in terms of surface morphology and molecular weight cut-off. In vitro clearances and the transient permeation of uremic toxins has also been evaluated in diffusion governed dialysis mode.
Conclusions An ultra low cost technology was developed and optimised to spin dialysis fibres of clinical specifications, with inner diameter of 220 µ and thickness of 35–40 μ. 6 kDa fibres are found to be high efficiency dialysis grade, whereas 12 and 16 kDa are potential high performance membranes.
- Assistive Technology
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