top of page

AI Case Study

Imperial College London researchers aim at designing a device that will improve dialysis procedure for patients using machine learning

A team from Imperial College London has leveraged AI to design a device aiming at improving dialysis for patients. The team used machine learning algorithms to optimise the shape of an arterio-venous fistulae (AVF) based on computer modelling techniques from the aerospace industry. The project stems from the similarity between how unsteady currents in blood flows in veins during dialysis and how unsteady air pockets flow over a plane. The prototype device has successfully passed preliminary tests in pigs.


Public And Social Sector

Education And Academia

Project Overview

"The team from Imperial College London and their colleagues have used computer modelling techniques from the aerospace industry - normally employed to simulate how unsteady air pockets flow over a plane - to model how unsteady currents in blood flows in the veins of patients undergoing dialysis.
Using machine learning algorithms, the technology optimised the shape of an AVF so that the unsteadiness in the blood flow could be suppressed. The prototype device that they have developed to hold the AVF in the optimal shape has so far undergone preliminary tests in pigs, which have been successful.
The study, published in the journal Physics of Fluids, was carried out in conjunction with researchers from Hammersmith Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, and St Mary’s Hospital."

Reported Results

Research; results not yet available.
However, researchers are aiming at designing a device that may ultimately improve dialysis for patients


Machine Learning algorithms


R And D

Product Development


According to the reporter from Imperial College London, "when the kidneys stop working properly, the medical procedure of dialysis can be used to remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood by diverting it to a machine to be cleaned. To connect this machine to the patient a special junction must be formed between an artery and a vein in the patient’s wrist or upper arm. This junction is called an arterio-venous fistulae (AVF). However, the challenge of the procedure is that due to abnormal and very unsteady blood flow patterns, approximately 50 per cent of AVFs block up and fail within months of their creation because the artery walls inflame, which is known as intimal hyperplasia. This means patients have to undergo another procedure and in some cases repeated procedures. Often patients can run out of regions on the arm where AVF can be carried out, preventing them from using the lifesaving dialysis procedure."



bottom of page