Fissell imageDr. William Fissell
Vanderbilt University Medical Center, USA

Biomimetic Silicon Nanopore Membranes for an Implantable Bioartificial Kidney


Track:  Health Symposium
Presentation:  Friday, September 24, 9:20 am

William H. Fissell, MD is the medical lead on The Kidney Project, a multicenter and multiyear NIH-funded project and interdisciplinary effort involving doctors, scientists, and engineers from a dozen universities and companies around the United States to create the first implantable artificial kidney.

Dr. Fissell graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with dual degrees in Physics and Electrical Engineering. As an undergraduate, he worked in MIT's Center for Space Research developing the spectrometers that are the core of NASA's Chandra Observatory.

Years later, in his Internal Medicine Residency after medical school at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Fissell was struck by the similarity between the filtration structures of the kidney and the structures that form Chandra's High Energy Transmission Grating and wondered if nanotechnology could be harnessed to build a biomimetic filtration membrane to improve kidney dialysis.

Dr. Fissell went on to complete his nephrology fellowship at the University of Michigan under Dr. H. David Humes, inventor of the Renal Assist Device, the world's first true bioartificial kidney. Before joining Vanderbilt University in 2012, Dr. Fissell directed the Renal Nanotechnology Laboratory at Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Fissell is an Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he directs research in artificial organs, tissue engineering, pharmacokinetics, and dialysis in acute kidney injury. He also teaches nephrology in acute and chronic care settings at Vanderbilt University Medical Center Hospital.