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RESEARCH PAPERS

Nanoporous Alumina Membranes for Enhancing Hemodialysis

[+] Author and Article Information
Zhongping Huang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Widener University, Chester, PA 19013

Weiming Zhang

Renal Division, Renji Hospital, Shanghai, China

Jianping Yu

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506

Dayong Gao

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506 and Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195

J. Med. Devices 1(1), 79-83 (Aug 08, 2006) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2360949 History: Received February 06, 2006; Revised August 08, 2006

The nonuniformity of pore size and pore distribution of the current hemodialysis membrane results in low efficiency of uremic solute removal as well as the loss of albumin. By using nanotechnology, an anodic alumina membrane (ceramic membrane) with self-organized nanopore structure was produced. The objective of this study was to fabricate nanoporous alumina membranes and investigate the correlation between various anodization conditions and the pore characteristics in order to find its potential application in artificial kidney/hemodialysis. An aluminum thin film was oxidized in two electrolytes consisting of 3% and 5% sulfuric acid and 2.7% oxalic acid. The applied voltages were 12.5, 15, 17.5, and 20V for sulfuric acid and 20, 30, 40, and 50V for oxalic acid. Pore size and porosity were determined by analyzing Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) images and hydraulic conductivity was measured. Results show that pore size increased linearly with voltage. Acid concentration affected pore formation but not pore size and pore distribution. Hydraulic conductivity of the ceramic membrane was higher than that of the polymer dialysis membrane. The optimal formation conditions for self-organized nanopore structure of the ceramic membrane were 12.517.5V in 3–5% sulfuric acid at 0°C. Under these conditions, ceramic membranes with pores size of 10nm diameter can be produced. In conclusion, we used anodic alumina technology to reliably produce in quantity ceramic membranes with a pore diameter of 1050nm. Because of more uniform pore size, high porosity, high hydraulic conductivity, and resistance to high temperature, the ceramic membrane has the potential application as a hemodialysis membrane.

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Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Experimental setup for aluminum anodization

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Figure 2

Experimental setup for hydraulic conductivity measurement

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Figure 3

SEM images of surface view of ceramic membrane anodized by 2.7% oxalic acid at 0°C with voltage of 20V (a) and 50V (b)

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Figure 4

SEM images of surface view of ceramic membranes (a) anodized by 3% sulfuric acid at 0°C with voltage of 17.5V (b) anodized by 5% sulfuric acid at 0°C with voltage of 17.5V (c) anodized by 2.7% oxalic acid at 0°C with voltage of 40V

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Figure 5

Comparison of ceramic membrane and polyethersulfone dialysis membrane. (a), (c) Surface and cross-sectional view of ceramic membrane (5% sulfuric acid at 15V); (b), (d) Outer surface and cross-sectional view of polyethersulfone dialysis membrane.

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Figure 6

Pore size distribution (a) and solute sieving coefficient (b) profiles for three hypothetical dialysis membranes. Reprinted with permission from (1).

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Figure 7

Pore size distributions for the ceramic membrane (3% sulfuric acid, 17.5V)

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