A dialyzer membrane or a dialysis membrane is a semipermeable membrane which is used in the process of dialysis. Semipermeable membrane is a kind of membrane which allows certain molecules or ions can pass through osmosis and Dialysis is a medical treatment used to remove waste products when the patients’ both kidneys are unable to perform normal activity or not performing properly.
A dialyzer membrane acts as a barrier between patients blood and dialysis solution. The dialyzer membrane allows the exchange of certain substances while preventing others from passing through from blood and the solution.
The dialyzer membrane is typically made of a thin layer of material such as cellulose or polysulfone or helixone. This membrane has some microscopic pores in it which allow small molecules like waste products and excess fluids to pass through.
The dialyzer membrane prevents the removal of essential nutrients from blood in the process of dialysis.
The efficiency of dialysis depends on the membrane of material and pore size of the dialyzer membrane.
There are four types of dialyzer membranes used in dialyzer:
- Cellulose-based membranes: This is the most commonly used membrane in the field of dialysis. These membranes are made of regenerated cellulose . They are low flux membranes as they have small pores and low permeability . The cellulose based membranes are highly biocompatible and have low protein absorption.
- Synthetic Membrane : Synthetic membranes are made of synthetic material such as polyamide, polyacrylonitrile ,polysulfone and helixone. This membrane is used in both low flux dialyzer and high flux dialyzer. This membrane has better performance to remove middle molecules compared to cellulose-based membrane.
- High Flux Membrane: These membranes have larger pores than low flux membranes and provide better clearance of middle molecules . High flux Membrane gives better dialysis compared to low flux membrane.
- Mixed matrix membrane: This is a newer type of membrane which provides the combination of both cellulose based and synthetic membrane. They offer high permeability.