(19)
(11)EP 3 501 564 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
26.06.2019 Bulletin 2019/26

(21)Application number: 17209126.6

(22)Date of filing:  20.12.2017
(51)Int. Cl.: 
A61M 1/16  (2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Debiotech S.A.
1004 Lausanne (CH)

(72)Inventors:
  • Vecten, Didier
    1004 Lausanne (CH)
  • Vescovo, Paul
    1004 Lausanne (CH)
  • Allendes, Ricardo
    1004 Lausanne (CH)

(74)Representative: Weihs, Bruno Konrad 
ANDRE ROLAND SA P.O. Box 5107
1002 Lausanne
1002 Lausanne (CH)

  


(54)EASILY MOVABLE BLOOD PURIFICATION SYSTEMS


(57) The document describes a system which is easy to move in order to allow travelling anywhere in the world. The invention provides different potential features and embodiments such as the container support, the loading system, the shape of the housing, ...




Description

FIELD OF INVENTION



[0001] The present invention relates generally to the field of blood purification systems and methods. For example, the present invention relates to an extracorporeal blood treatment apparatus conducting a dialysis treatment for example hemodialysis treatment.

STATE OF THE ART



[0002] Extracorporeal blood treatment is typically used to extract undesirable matter or molecules from the patient's blood and/or add desirable matter or molecules to the blood. Such treatment is used with patients unable to effectively remove matter from their blood, such as when a patient has suffered temporary or permanent kidney failure.

[0003] This treatment is typically accomplished by removing the blood from the patient, introducing the blood into a filtration unit (for example a dialyzer) where the blood is allowed to flow past a semipermeable membrane. The semipermeable membrane selectively allows matter in the blood to cross the membrane from a primary chamber into a secondary chamber and also selectively allows matter in the secondary chamber to cross the membrane into the blood in the primary chamber, depending on the type of treatment. A number of different types of extracorporeal blood treatments may be performed:
  • An ultrafiltration (UF) treatment;
  • A hemofiltration (HF) treatment;
  • A hemodialysis (HD) treatment;
  • A hemodiafiltration (HDF) treatment.


[0004] Currently, the most widely used method of kidney dialysis for treatment of end stage renal disease is hemodialysis. In hemodialysis, the patient's blood is cleansed by passing it through the primary chamber and a dialysate solution through the secondary chamber. During dialysis, arterial and venous parts of blood line convey a patient's blood to and from the filtration means (for example a dialyzer). Impurities and toxins are removed from the patient's blood by diffusion or convection across a membrane in the filtration means. Hemodialysis is commonly required three times a week with each dialysis requiring up to four to five hours in a dialysis center or at home where treatment may be more frequent (up to daily) and shorter (down to two hours). During the treatment, the patient is connected to a hemodialysis machine and the patient's blood is pumped through the machine. Catheters are inserted into the patient's veins and arteries so that blood can flow to and from the hemodialysis machine. A large amount of a dialysis solution, for example about 120 liters, is consumed to dialyze the blood during a single hemodialysis therapy.

[0005] Currently, the trend is for more homecare. The homecare provides a better life and greater privacy to the patient and is less expensive. Nevertheless, the extracorporeal blood treatment apparatus are heavy, large and complex to use.

[0006] For example, the size of an extracorporeal blood treatment system may be 1370 x 480 x 480 mm and its weight may be 86 kg. Even if some companies try to design smaller systems, the smallest apparatus are for example: NxStage System One : 385 x 385 x 385 mm for 34 kg, and Quanta SC+ 480 x 370 x 450 for 30 kg. Thus these apparatus cannot be easily moved and it will be impossible or at least very difficult to travel with such systems. Thus the dimensions (size and weight) are important drawbacks of such systems. As a result, even if systems for home use are available, the patient must still remain at home (in the same way as a person was at the hospital) due to the non-portable nature of such equipment.

[0007] In addition, as dialysis equipment employs an amount of dialysis fluid up to 25 or 40 liters per day (in case of home treatment or up to 120 or 200 liter in dialysis center), the patient has to store at home a large volume of fresh dialysate and the patient hands several dialysate bags (fresh and spent) every day for treatment. Other machines allow transforming water into dialysis solution but these machines use a large amount of energy and water, while representing a potential contamination risk. In both cases, the environmental impact is important. Another drawback of these dialysis systems using tap water is the need for a dedicated water treatment system, which includes large and heavy equipment, water connection and drainage. Installing and using those components is a difficult and cumbersome task that can require a patient's home to be modified. As a result the water treatment systems make the home hemodialysis system more non-portable.

[0008] Another important drawback is that the HD systems comprise several fluid circuits which have been coupled to the apparatus during the treatment. The old systems comprise one cassette dedicated to the dialysate circuit and a set of tube for the blood circuit. These systems are very difficult to use and just experimented nurses can handle such systems. In order to facilitate the use, some companies designed a single cassette adapted to be coupled to the apparatus. Such cassette comprises a part of the blood circuit and a part of the dialysate circuit making it big. The single cassette was designed to simplify the treatment but in reality such cassette is too large, heavy and difficult to use. Furthermore, in numerous cases the patients note a failure of the coupling between the cassette and the apparatus. Thus this makes laborious use.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION



[0009] All or a part of the mentioned drawbacks may be obviated by the device for dialysis system according to the invention.

[0010] One of goals is to have a dialysis system which is more compact and easier to use in order to be used at home while enabling transportation.

[0011] According to a first aspect, the invention provides a blood treatment system which includes a blood line including a blood cassette (which may be discarded after a single use), a dialysate line including a dialysate cassette (which may be discarded after a single use), a dialyzer (which may be discarded after a single use) including a blood compartment in fluid communication with the blood line and a dialysate compartment in fluid communication with the dialysate line, a dialysis unit (which may be reusable for several treatments and which is preferably portable).

[0012] One of advantages of using two cassettes is that the coupling is facilitated and each cassette may be designed as compact as possible. Furthermore, by using two distinct cassettes, the components in the dialysis unit may be arranged in order to make it more compact.

[0013] According to a second aspect, the invention provides a blood treatment system comprising at least one cassette for the blood circuit and/or for the dialysate circuit and a dialysis unit. The dialysis unit includes components for controlling a dialysis treatment for example a processor, a valve actuator, a sensor, a blood pumping mechanism adapted to cooperate with the blood line in order to move blood through the blood line when the blood line is in fluid communication with a blood source and/or a dialysate pumping mechanism adapted to cooperate with the dialysate line in order to move dialysate through the dialysate line when the dialysate line is in fluid communication with a dialysate source. The system further includes a housing in which the components of the dialysis unit is arranged, the housing having a front panel and a pair of lateral panels, a (blood and/or dialysis) cassette holder arranged into the housing and intended to removably receive the (blood and/or dialysis) cassette and an opening arranged through the housing intended to allow the cassette to be inserted into the housing (for example horizontally). The cassette may comprise a handle designed such that it can be gripped by the fingers of a hand of a user. The cassette may be inserted into the housing by a horizontal (or vertical) and/or sliding movement. When the cassette has been inserted into the cassette holder, the handle may protrude out of the housing or may be housed in the cassette compartment. Preferentially, the blood circuit comprises a dedicated cassette and the dialysate circuit comprises a dedicated cassette. In this case two distinct openings may be arranged / designed / adapted for each cassette. One opening may be designed in such a manner to accept / to receive / to allow only its dedicated type of cassette.

[0014] According to a third aspect, the invention provides a system which is easy to move. It is not a system fixed to the patient but a system which may be transported / conveyed in order to allow travelling anywhere in the world. For example, this system comprises all elements needed for the treatment and a housing designed to be movable, with a small size and light weight. For example, the housing of the system may be adapted to be stored in a hand luggage during a travel. The housing may be sized in order to fit into or be smaller than a hand luggage (for example for airplane travel), for example at least one dimension smaller than 31 cm, another dimension smaller than 51 cm and/or another dimension smaller than 61 cm. Furthermore, the hand luggage used for travelling with the system may be used as a support, thus during the treatment, the system may be placed in, on or lay on its hand luggage. In an other example, the system may comprise a movable container holder (such as a pole) for a solution bag which may be operatively coupled with the housing of the machine (or with the hand luggage, for example, a (retractable) handle of the hand luggage may be used as the movable container holder (such as a pole)) in order to provide a first position and a second position. The first position may be adapted to perform a treatment and the second position may be adapted to easily move the system, for example during a travel.

[0015] According to a fourth aspect, the invention provides a dialysis system with an easy loading device. For example, the system may comprise a loading device with a drive mechanism of a cassette holder adapted to move the cassette holder until a first position and a second position. The first position may be adapted to allow inserting or removing a cassette (into or form the cassette holder) and the second position may be adapted to perform the treatment. In this case the second position may be adapted to prevent the user from removing and/or from inserting a cassette from or to the cassette holder. This loading system may be operatively coupled to the opening described above.

[0016] According to a fifth aspect, the invention provides a hemodialysis system comprising a priming container (for example a bag) which is in fluid communication with the blood circuit and the dialysate circuit. Thanks to this bag, a (single) solution (for example dialysate solution or saline solution or other compatible solution) may be provided to the system for both circuits in order to prime all or a part of the system. The priming container may comprise a first removable fluid connection intended to be connected to the dialysate circuit and a second removable fluid connection intended to be connected to the blood circuit.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



[0017] The present invention will be better understood at the light of the following detailed description which contains non-limiting examples illustrated by the following figures:

Figure 1 shows a schematic view of the fluid circuits;

Figures 2a, b, c, d and e illustrate different views of the blood circuit;

Figure 3 illustrates a dialysate circuit according to one embodiment;

Figure 4 shows the interaction between the disposable part and the reusable part;

Figures 5a, b, b', c and c' illustrate cross-sectional views of cassette;

Figure 6 shows the elements of the fluid pump;

Figure 7 shows the system in operating configuration without the disposable part;

Figure 8 shows the system in operating configuration without the disposable part;

Figure 9 shows the insertion of a blood cassette into a dedicated opening of the system;

Figure 10 shows the insertion of a dialysate cassette into a dedicated opening of the system;

Figures 11a, 11b, 12a, 12b and 12c show the apparatus in a first configuration (required for the treatment), a second configuration (enabling saving space) and a third configuration (optional 12b) (enabling the preparation of the treatment for example to access the container receiver);

Figures 13 illustrate different views of the loading process of the cassette;

Figure 14 shows an exploded view of one embodiment of the loading system;

Figures 15 shows different positions of the loading system with or without cassette;

Figure 16 shows an exploded view of one embodiment of the loading system;

Figure 17 shows a 3d view of one embodiment of the loading system;

Figure 18 shows a drip chamber and its support;

Figure 19 shows a dialysis system stored in a hand luggage;

Figures 20 and 21 show an illustration of the system using a priming container;

Figures 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 show several embodiments of openings and cassettes according to the invention;

Figure 27 shows a flowchart of a cassette detection process;

Figure 28 shows a flowchart of a loader position detection process;

Figure 29 shows a schematic view of an electronic device of the apparatus;

Figures 30a to 30h illustrate several positions of the door device;

Figures 31a and 31b show two embodiments of the door device;

Figure 32 is an interior view of the embodiments shown in figure 31a or figure 31b;

Figures 33, 34, 35 and 36 show different views of a potential embodiment 600; and

Figures 37, 38 and 39 show different views of a potential embodiment 700.



[0018] Some figures do not show all features so as to render the figure clearer.

LIST OF REFERENCES AND CORRESPONDING ELEMENTS



[0019] 

1 extracorporeal blood treatment system

2 dialyzer

3 blood circuit

4 dialysate circuit

4' additional circuit for example (concentrate or initial supply circuit)

5 patient

6 arterial line

7 venous line

8 blood pump

9 drip chamber

10 first chamber

11 second chamber

12 membrane

13 bag/container

14 first dialysate pump

15 dialysate line

16 second dialysate pump

17 element for receving the solution from the diaylzer

18 loop line

19 container (blood return container)

20 line

21 valve

22 line

23 valve

24 arterial valve

25 venous valve

26 arterial connector

27 venous connector

28 initial supply container

29 weight balance

30 pump

31 supply container (for example concentrate supply bag)

32 supply container

33 single priming container

34 first connector

35, 35' second connector

36 third connector

37 dialysate circuit connector

38 normal flow direction (blood circuit)

39 normal flow direction (dialysate circuit)

40 potential limit of the cassette

41 supply container

42 normal pumping direction

43 reversed pumping direction

100 blood purification system

101 disposable part

102 reusable part / apparatus

103 dialyzer

104 sorbent

105 bag

106 cassette

107 rigid frame

108 membrane

109 handle

110 processor

111 screen (device for example tablet with a touch screen)

112 other element such as button

113 sensor

114 actuator

115 other elements connected to the processor and operatively and removably coupled to the disposable part

116 tube

120 cavity

121 port

122 handle

123 valve seat

124 fluid pathway

200 cassette with a part of a pump

201 flexible tube

202 fluid pathway of the cassette

203 inlet port of the pump

204 outlet port of the pump

205 roller assembly

206 roller support

207 shaft

208 roller

300 apparatus (reusable part)

301 housing

302 display device

303 screen support

304 container support

305 additional screen

306 power button

307 emergency button

308 dialyzer support

309 drip chamber support

310 first opening

311 second opening

312 pole

313 hook

314 rotating fixing element

315 movable container support

316 container receiver

317 fixing element

318 recess

319 first portion

320 second portion

321 front panel

322 side panel

323 side panel

324 opening of the first side

325 opening of the second side

326 insertion direction

327 first side of the housing

328 second side of the housing

400 loading system

401 cassette holder

402 dedicated active element (for example sensor)

403 dedicated active element (for example valve actuator)

404 dedicated active element (for example motor of the pump)

405 shaft of the motor

406 support of the dedicated active elements

407 movement of the cassette holder

408 movement of the dedicated active element

409 drive mechanism

410 motor

411 drive assembly

412 guiding assembly

413 support of guiding element

414 pin

415 door

416 door actuator

417 housing interior

418 lock system

419 opening

420 part of housing

421 elastic element

422 coupling element

423 flexible element

500 drip chamber support

501 drip chamber

502 body

503 lock

504 mechanical coding system

600 dialysis system

601 apparatus

602 blood cassette

603 dialysate cassette

604 first door

605 second door

606 dialyzer

607 housing

608 dialyzer support

609 pole

610 display device

611 weighting scale

612 sorbent device

613 tubes

614 weighting bag

615 apparatus support

700 dialysis system

701 apparatus

702 blood cassette

703 dialysate cassette

704 door

705 heating compartment

706 dialyzer

707 housing

708 dialyzer support

709 pole

710 display device

711 weighting scale

712 sorbent device

713 tubes

714 weighting bag

715 apparatus support


DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION



[0020] In the following detailed description, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration several embodiments of devices, systems and methods. It is to be understood that other embodiments are contemplated and may be made without departing from the scope or spirit of the present disclosure. It is to be understood that even if the document describes a haemodialysis system, some embodiments described therein may also be used for or arranged in a peritoneal dialysis system or other blood treatment purification systems such as for example continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT). The following detailed description, therefore, is not to be taken in a limiting sense.

[0021] All scientific and technical terms used herein have meanings commonly used in the art unless otherwise specified. The definitions provided herein are here to facilitate understanding of certain terms used frequently herein and are not meant to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

[0022] As used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a", "an", and "the" encompass embodiments having plural referents, unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

[0023] As used in this specification and the appended claims, any direction referred to herein, such as "top", "bottom", "left", "right", "upper", "lower", and other directions or orientations are described herein for clarity in reference to the figures and are not intended to be limiting of an actual device or system. Devices and systems described herein may be used in a number of directions and orientations.

[0024] As used herein, "have", "having", "include", "including", "comprise", "comprising" or the like are used in their open ended sense, and generally mean "including, but not limited to.

[0025] As used in this specification and the appended claims, the term "or" and "/" are generally employed in its sense including "and/or" unless the content clearly dictates otherwise.

[0026] As used herein, "compatible solution with blood" or the like generally means "a physiologically compatible solution for contacting blood, a physiologically compatible solution for infusion to a subject or a solution for blood rinse back to a subject".

FLUID CIRCUIT(S)



[0027] Referring to the figure 1, the extracorporeal blood treatment system 1 may comprise a dialyzer 2, a blood circuit 3 and a dialysate circuit 4.

[0028] The blood circuit 3 (also called extracorporeal circuit) connects the patient 5 to the dialyzer 2. More specifically, the blood circuit 3 comprises an arterial (blood) line 6 and a venous (blood) line 7 which connect the patient 5 to the dialyzer 2. The blood circuit 3 comprises at least one pump 8 for pumping fluid through the blood circuit, for example blood to or from the dialyzer 2. The blood pump 8 may be, for example, a peristaltic pump, a pumping chamber, ... Further, a clamp (not shown in figure 1) may be arranged and located in the blood circuit 3, for example a valve. Still further, an air sensor (not shown in figure 1) may be located within the extracorporeal circuit. The air sensor may, for example, detect the presence of air within the extracorporeal circuit. A drip chamber (not shown in figure 1) may be arranged and located within the extracorporeal circuit, for example in the venous line 7. The drip chamber may, for example, remove the air bubbles present in the blood circuit. Air (or other fluid or gas) may be present in the blood circuit 3 prior to the treatment. As a result, the patient or other health professional may need to prime the extracorporeal circuit 3 by removing it.

[0029] The dialyzer 2 has a first chamber/compartment 10 in which the blood is moved through, an arterial (blood) port by which the blood is entered and a venous (blood) port by which the blood is exited from. The dialyzer 2 has a second chamber/compartment 11 in which a dialysate solution is moved through, a first (dialysate) port by which the dialysate solution (more particular a fresh dialysate or regenerated dialysate) is entered and a second (dialysate) port by which the dialysate solution (more particular an used dialysate) exits the dialyzer. The used dialysate is a dialysate solution which exits from the second dialysate port and may comprise ultra-filtrate (mixed to other liquids). The ultra-filtrate is a liquid which comprises the excess water of the patient. The dialyzer 2 has a membrane 12 separating the first chamber from the second chamber. The membrane may be adapted (for example, the membrane may be semi permeable) to allow passage of fluid or components from the first chamber to the second chamber (and/or inversely from the second to the first chamber).

[0030] The dialysate circuit 4 comprises at least one pump adapted to convey a fluid through the dialysate circuit 4, for example a dialysate solution to or from the dialyzer 2. Preferentially, the dialysate circuit 4 may have a first dialysate pump 14 adapted to pump a solution (for example, a solution stored in a bag 13) to the dialyzer 2. The bag 13 may store a dialysate solution as a fresh dialysate or other solution as a priming solution. The bag 13 may be initially empty. The bag 13 may be in fluid communication with the dialyzer 2 via a fluidic line. This fluidic line may include the first dialysate pump 14 or may be a by-pass adapted to by-pass the fluidic line including the first dialysate pump 14. The fluidic line may comprise a valve in order to open or close the fluidic communication between the bag 13 and the dialyzer 2. The dialysate circuit 4 may have a second dialysate pump 16 adapted to pump the solution exiting from the dialyzer 2, such as the used dialysate and/or the ultrafiltrate. This solution may be moved up to an element 17 which is adapted to receive for example the used dialysate. This element may be a bag (adapted to store the solution) or a sorbent device (adapted to clean or to regenerate the solution). The dialysate circuit may comprise a loop line 18 adapted to allow a fluid communication between the bag 13 and the element 17 (in particular when the element 17 is a sorbent). In this case the bag 13 comprises an outlet in fluidic communication with the dialyzer 2 and an inlet in fluidic communication with the element 17 (for example a sorbent device). The dialysate circuit may comprise at least one of valve and sensor such as a pressure sensor, level sensor, weight scale, flow meter, blood sensor, ammoniac sensor, ... The dialysate pump may be, for example, a peristaltic pump, a pumping chamber, ... Air (or other fluid or gas) may be present in the dialysate circuit prior to the treatment. As a result, the patient or other health professional may need to prime the dialysate circuit by removing it. A by-pass may be arranged between the second dialysate pump 16 and the bag 13 in order to by-pass the element 17 (for example the sorbent device when the sorbent is no longer usable).

BLOOD CIRCUIT



[0031] Turning now to the figures 2a-2e, the blood circuit may comprise a bag 19 adapted to receive and/or to store a solution and to be in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and/or with the venous line. The term "direct fluid communication" is employed here as "physically and fluidly connected to and in fluid communication at least temporarily with" without passing by another fluid pathway, filter, dialyzer, sorbent or pump. A valve may be used in order to control (by the apparatus, automatically or not) the direct fluid connection. The bag 19 may be empty at the start of the treatment. The bag 19 may be filled with a saline solution or other compatible solution with blood. The bag 19 may be used to prime the blood circuit and/or to push the blood back to the patient.

[0032] Preferentially, the bag 19 may be initially substantially empty (of liquid and/or of gas) and sterilised. During the priming process of the blood circuit, the bag 19 may be filled with a priming solution (which may be a saline solution or a dialysate solution or other) and/or with the fluid (for example the gas) initially stored in the fluid pathway of the blood circuit before the treatment. The bag 19 may comprise a degassing device such as a vent with a hydrophobic membrane in order to expel the gas (for example air) which may be stored or injected into the bag (the storing compartment of the bag). The bag 19 may be sized in order to store a volume of fluid which is substantially equivalent or superior (for example more or less twice the volume defined thereafter) to a volume defined by the interior wall of the blood circuit (for example the volume defined by the interior of the tube, of the cassette, of the blood compartment of the dialyzer and/or of the drip chamber...). The bag 19 may be advantageously filled with the priming solution during the priming process, then the bag stores this solution during the treatment and at the end of the treatment, this solution may be used to push the blood back to the patient.

[0033] A volume fraction of the solution stored in the bag 19 may be injected into the blood circuit in the event of blood pressure reduction of the patient during the treatment. Thus, the system limits the amount of fluid necessary for the priming and the rinsing back process, even more when the priming solution is a dialysate solution or saline solution. Thus only one liquid solution (or a limited number of distinct solutions) may be prepared or added or used for the treatment (or at least a limited number of bags). In case where the system uses a sorbent and a concentrate solution(s), only two (or less than three) types of solution may be used a dialysate solution (and/or saline solution) and one or more concentrate solutions for the overall treatment.

[0034] A solution stored in a bag connected 28 or 33 (in direct fluid communication with) to the dialysate circuit (and optionally to the blood circuit) may be used to prime the blood circuit and/or to fill the bag 19. This solution may be a saline solution or a dialysate solution.

[0035] According to the figure 2a, the blood circuit comprises a line 20 which is in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 20 and the arterial line 6 is arranged or located upstream ("upstream" according to the normal flow direction) of the pump 8. The normal flow direction is indicated in figure 1 by arrow 38 for the blood circuit and arrow 39 for the dialysate circuit. The line 20 may comprise a valve 21 (V3) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication by a controller device for example a processor.

[0036] According to the figure 2b, the blood circuit comprises a line 22 which is in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 22 and the arterial line 6 is arranged or located downstream the pump 8 ("downstream" according to the normal flow direction). The line 22 may comprise a valve 23 (V4) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication by a controller device for example a processor. In another embodiment as partially described by the figure 2d, the blood circuit may comprise a line 22 which is in direct fluid communication with the venous line 7 and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 22 and the venous line 7 is arranged or located downstream of the pump 8, for example upstream or downstream of the dialyzer (according to the normal flow direction). The line 22 may comprise a valve 23 (V4) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication by a controller device for example a processor.

[0037] According to the figure 2c, the blood circuit comprises a line 20 which is in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 20 and the arterial line 6 is arranged or located upstream ("upstream" according to the normal flow direction) the pump 8. The line 20 may comprise a valve 21 (V3) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication by for example a processor. The blood circuit further comprises a line 22 which is in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 22 and the arterial line 6 is arranged or located downstream the pump 8 but upstream the dialyzer. The line 22 may comprise a valve 23 (v4) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication.

[0038] According to the figure 2d, the blood circuit comprises a line 20 which is in direct fluid communication with the arterial line and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 20 and the arterial line 6 is arranged or located upstream ("upstream" according to the normal flow direction) the pump 8. The line 20 may comprise a valve 21 (V3) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication by for example a processor. The blood circuit further comprises a line 22 which is in direct fluid communication with the venous line 7 and with the interior (for example storing compartment) of the bag 19. The connection between the line 22 and the venous line 7 is arranged or located downstream the pump 8 (and/or the dialyzer and/or the drip chamber). The line 22 may comprise a valve 23 (v4) which may be controlled in order to open or to close the fluid communication.

[0039] The blood circuit may comprise an arterial valve 24 (V1) arranged and located in the arterial line 6. The arterial valve 24 may be controlled in order to open or close the arterial line. The arterial valve may be arranged / located upstream the pump 8 and/or upstream the line 20 and/or the line 22. The blood circuit may comprise a venous valve 25 arranged and located in the venous line 7. The venous valve 25 may be controlled in order to open or close the venous line 7. The venous valve may be arranged / located downstream the pump 8 and/or downstream the line 20 and/or the line 22 and/or downstream the drip chamber 9.

[0040] According to the figure 2e, the blood circuit comprises an arterial connector 26 arranged / located at an end of the arterial line 6. The arterial connector 26 is adapted and intended to be connected to a catheter of the patient. And the blood circuit comprises a venous connector 27 arranged / located at an end of the venous line 7. The venous connector 27 is adapted and intended to be connected to a catheter of the patient.

[0041] The arterial connector 26 and the venous connector 27 may be adapted to be connected together in order to allow a fluid communication between the arterial line 6 and the venous line 7 (without requiring to pass through the dialyzer) and to create a closed loop of the blood circuit. If the arterial connector 26 and the venous connector 27 cannot be directly connected together, the system may comprise an interconnector device comprising a first end adapted and intended to be connected to the arterial line 6 and a second end adapted and intended to be connected to the venous line 7. The interconnector device allows a fluid communication between the arterial line 6 and the venous line 7 and creates a closed loop of the blood circuit.

DIALYSATE CIRCUIT



[0042] Referring now to the figure 3, the dialysate circuit may have a bag 28 which may store a solution for example a dialysate solution (such as an initial supply of dialysate) or a priming solution (which may be dialysate solution, a saline solution or other). This bag 28 may be used to add liquid solution into the loop circuit of dialysate or to initially fill the bag 13 (if the bag is initially empty for example before starting the treatment) or to prime at least a part of the circuit(s). The bag 28 may be in direct fluid communication with the first dialysate pump 14 via a line which may comprise a valve v5. The bag 28 may be in direct fluid communication with a by-pass line 15 via a line which may comprise a valve v5, in this case, the bag 28 may be used so as to remove a volume fraction of the solution from the dialysate loop circuit, for example from the bag 13 (close v8 and v7, open v6 and v5 and actuate the first dialysate pump). The by-pass line 15 may comprise a valve v8. The loop line 18 may comprise a valve v12. The bag 13 may be in direct fluid communication with the first pump via a line comprising a valve v6.

[0043] The dialysate circuit may have a supply circuit 4' (also called an additive circuit or concentrate circuit). This supply circuit 4' may comprise at least one supply pump (for example a concentrate pump 30) in fluid communication with the loop circuit of dialysate for example to the loop line 18 or to the bag 13 in order to add a solution (for example concentrate or saline or dialysate or other fluid different from dialysate) into the loop circuit of the dialysate upstream of the bag 13 or directly into the bag 13. This supply circuit may have a flow meter or a balance chamber in order to control or to monitor the concentrate additions to the loop circuit of the dialysate. The supply pump may be adapted to control and/or to monitor the amount of concentrate added to the loop circuit of dialysate. The supply circuit may comprise a valve v10 located downstream the supply pump 30 and/or upstream to the connection with the loop circuit of the dialysate. The supply circuit 4' may comprise one or more bag (31, 32) which may store a solution such as a concentrate solution, a saline solution and/or a dialysate solution for example an initial supply of dialysate or other solution different from dialysate. This supply circuit may be also used so as to remove a volume fraction of the solution from the dialysate loop circuit. In this case the supply pump 30 is operated in reverse mode and the bag 32 may receive the removed solution. The bag 32 may be weighted in order to monitor the volume of removed solution.

[0044] In one embodiment, the supply bag 32 stores a saline solution or pure water and the system does not comprise any initial supply bag of dialysate. Thus the dialysate is prepared from the saline solution or pure water and concentrate solution before starting the treatment into the bag 13 which may be initially empty. The processor may take into account the fact that the prepared dialysate solution will be regenerated / recycled through the sorbent device multiple times during the treatment and thus prepare a predetermined initial volume of dialysate solution before starting the treatment. In particular, the volume of dialysate solution initially prepared may be smaller than the volume of dialysate solution used at the end of the treatment due to the UF and/or the volume of added concentrate accumulated during the treatment.

[0045] The dialysate circuit 4 may be adapted to allow flowing, pumping, circulating a fluid in two opposite directions for example through the by-pass line 15. The dialysate pump may be adapted to pump in two directions for example in a first direction from the bag 13 to the dialyzer and a second direction which is a direction opposite to the first direction.

[0046] The bag 28 may be used to fill the bag 13 by actuating the dialysate pump in the first direction (if the bag 28 is connected to the line of the pump), in this case the solution initially stored in the bag 28 passed through the pump 14, then through the line 15 and reached the bag 13. v6 and v7 are closed and v5 and v8 are opened. If the bag 28 is connected to the line 15 (via the dash line), the bag 28 may be used to fill the bag 13 by actuating the dialysate pump in the second direction, the solution initially stored in the bag 28 is passed through the line 15, then through the pump 14 and reach the bag 13. v7 and v8 are closed and v5 and v6 are opened.

[0047] The system may comprise one or more balances (weight scale) and/or a heater 29 adapted to weigh or heat the solution store in the bag 13 and/or the bag 31.

[0048] Preferably, the dialysate circuit comprises a sorbent device adapted to clean the used dialysate, in order to use the dialysate solution several times. In this case, the concentrate solution may be added into the dialysate circuit over the course of treatment. Thus, a treatment may be performed with less than 10 liters of initial dialysate, preferentially less than 5 liters of initial dialysate, and more preferentially less than 4 liters of initial dialysate.

SINGLE PRIMING CONTAINER



[0049] The system may comprise a (single) priming container 33 in fluid communication with the blood circuit and the dialysate circuit during the priming process in order to prime at least a part of both circuits. The single priming container 33 may be a bag having at least one flexible wall and sealed walls (the other container described in this document may comprise at least one flexible wall and sealed walls).

[0050] The system may comprise a dialysate circuit having a dialysate connector, a blood circuit having an arterial connector and a venous connector and a priming container having a storage compartment. The system may be adapted to provide a fluid connection (only during the priming process of the system before starting the treatment) between the storage compartment of the priming container 33 and the connectors (dialysate connector, arterial connector and venous connector).

[0051] The system may further comprise a first pump dedicated to the blood circuit, a second pump dedicated to the dialysate circuit, a memory having computer-executable instructions dedicated to the priming process, a processor connected to the memory and the pumps. Both pumps may be adapted to move the priming solution (initially stored in the priming container) through the fluid circuits. The processor is adapted to control the pumps (successively or simultaneously) according to the computer-executable instructions in order to automatically perform all or a part of the priming process.

[0052] The single priming container may store a saline solution, a dialysate solution or other compatible solution (compatible with blood and/or dialysate).

[0053] If the single priming container stores a saline solution or other compatible solution to prepared dialysate solution (for example pure water, ...), at least a part of the dialysate solution (used for the treatment) may be automatically prepared from this stored solution. In this case, a volume fraction of the solution initially stored in the single priming container is added to the bag 13 in order to prepare a dialysate solution before starting the treatment and a concentrate solution may be also added to the bag 13. In this case, the processor may be programmed in order to automatically move a predetermined volume fraction of the solution (initially stored in the container 33) to the bag 13 and a predetermined volume fraction of concentrate solution (initially stored in the container 31) to the bag 13. The processor may take into account the fact that the prepared dialysate solution will be regenerated / recycled through the sorbent device multiple times during the treatment and thus prepare a predetermined initial volume of dialysate solution before starting the treatment. In particular, the volume of dialysate solution initially prepared may be smaller than the volume of dialysate solution used at the end of the treatment due to the UF and/or the volume of added concentrate accumulated during the treatment. Furthermore, the priming solution may be also added to the bag 19 (of the blood circuit) and used at the end of the treatment as described above.

[0054] If the single priming container stores a dialysate solution or other compatible solution with the blood, a volume fraction of the solution initially stored in the single priming container may be added to the bag 13 (for example if the bag 13 is empty at the beginning of the treatment). Furthermore, the priming solution may be also added to the bag 19 and used at the end of the treatment as described above.

[0055] Thus, the single priming container may be used to supply a solution to the bag 19 and/or to the bag 13 and/or to prime the blood circuit 3 and the dialysate circuit 4. In other terms, the volume of the storage compartment of the single priming container may take into account a required volume for the bag 13, a required volume for the bag 19 and/or a required volume for priming the fluid pathway of both circuits (for example the pathway, the dialyzer, the sorbent, ...).

[0056] The single priming container may comprise one, two or three outlets.

[0057] Referring now to the figure 20, the single priming container 33 comprises three outlets, for example three tubes and/or three connectors. Each outlet is in fluid communication with the solution stored in the container and may comprise a dedicated connector. A first connector 34 may be adapted or intended to be connected to a dialysate circuit connector 37. This dialysate circuit connector may be connected to a tube which may extend up to the dialysate cassette. A clamp or a valve v5 may be used to clamp or to close this fluid pathway. In the cassette, this fluid pathway may be in fluid connection with the dialysate circuit for example to the fluid pathway between the bag 13 and the pump 14 (as the bag 28 which is used in an other embodiment). A second connector 35 may be adapted or intended to be connected to the venous connector 27 and a third connector 36 may be adapted or intended to be connected to the arterial connector 26.

[0058] Referring now to the figure 21, the single priming container 33 comprises two outlets, for example two tubes and/or two connectors. Each outlet is in fluid communication with the solution stored in the container and may comprise a dedicated connector. A first connector 34 may be the same as the connector 34 described above via the figure 20. A second connector 35 may have one or two ports. If the second connector 35 has only one port, the system needs to have an adapter so as to connect the second connector 35 to the arterial connector 26 and to the venous connector 27. If the second connector 35 has two ports, a first port may be adapted or intended to be connected to the venous connector 27 and a second outlet port may be adapted or intended to be connected to the arterial connector 26.

[0059] If the single priming container 33 comprises only one outlet for example one tube and/or one connector, this connector may have three ports (one for the dialysate circuit and two for the blood circuit as described above) or the system may use an adapter having one inlet port and three outlet ports as the concept described above.

OVERALL SYSTEM



[0060] The overall system may have a reusable part and a disposable part. The disposable part comprises the elements which have to be discarded after a predetermined number of uses, for example, after a single use. The working life of the disposable part may directly depend on the number of treatments. These elements may be the elements which have been wetted by the dialysate or by the blood, for example, at least part of the blood circuit and/or at least a part of the dialysate circuit and/or the dialyzer.

[0061] The disposable part of the blood circuit may be at least one of tube, connector, port, cassette, valve, ... The disposable part of the dialysate circuit may be at least one of tube, connector, port, cassette, valve, ...

[0062] Preferentially, the reusable part comprises the expensive elements for example the sensor, the electronic part, the screen, the actuator of the valve or of the pump, the processor, the memory. The reusable part is successively used with several disposable parts. The reusable part may comprise components which may be replaced when the components are to much worn out, have become broken or after a predetermined period of time, but much longer than a single treatment. The change of the reusable part may depend on the component wear.

[0063] According to the figure 4, the overall system 100 may comprise a disposable part 101 and a reusable part 102 (also called apparatus). The disposable part 101 may comprise at least one of a dialyzer 103, a sorbent 104, a bag 105 and a cassette 106. The reusable part 102 may comprise at least one of one or more processors 110, one or more screens 111, other elements 112 connected to the processor such as a button, one or more sensors 113, one or more actuators 114 and other elements 115 connected to the processor 110 and operatively and removably coupled to the disposable part. The elements (111, 112, 113, 114, 115, 110) may be arranged into a housing of the reusable part 102. The screen 111 may be a touch screen and may be removably coupled to the housing comprising the other elements of the reusable part 102. All or a part of the elements may be connected or coupled to the processor 110 in order to control or monitor the treatment. The processor 110 may execute computer-executable instructions stored in a memory of the system. The sensor 113 may be adapted and intended to be operatively coupled to the disposable part 101.

[0064] The active part of the sensor 113 (for example the part which senses) may be located in the reusable part. In this case, the disposable part may comprise a coupling element adapted to removably couple the sensor with the disposable part 101. The active part of the sensor (such as probe) may be located / arranged in the disposable part, in this case, the sensor part located into the reusable part may be the connection element allowing the communication between the processor 110 and the active part of the sensor located in the disposable part.

[0065] The actuator 114 may be operatively coupled with the disposable part in such a manner that the actuator may act on the disposable part, for example open/close a valve, actuate the pump, ...

[0066] The element 115 may be a weight scale or a heater controlled by the processor.

CASSETTE(S)



[0067] The system may comprise one or more cassettes which define at least a part of the fluidic pathway of the blood circuit and/or of the dialysate circuit. A cassette is preferentially a part of the disposable part 106 (as shown in the figure 4). The system may comprise a single cassette comprising a part of the blood circuit and a part of the dialysate circuit. Preferentially, the system comprises two distinct cassettes: a first cassette dedicated to the blood circuit, adapted and intended to receive blood (and optionally a priming solution, saline solution, pure water solution, dialysate solution or other blood compatible solution) and a second cassette dedicated to the dialysate circuit, adapted and intended to receive a dialysate solution or other compatible solution for the treatment. The figures 2e and 3 show a potential limit 40 of the cassette (blood cassette and dialysate cassette). The pumping device(s) may be a part of the cassette or may be arranged outside of the cassette.

[0068] The (blood and/or dialysate) cassette 106 comprises at least one valve adapted and intended to be operatively coupled with the actuator 114 of the reusable part. The (blood and/or dialysate) cassette 106 may comprise at least a part of a pump adapted and intended to be operatively coupled with the actuator 114 of the reusable part 102.

[0069] The cassette 106 comprises a rigid frame 107 (illustrated in figures 5a-5c') adapted to receive a part of the fluid pathway of the circuit (blood or dialysate). As shown by the figures 5, the cassette includes a fluid cavity 120 (arranged into the rigid frame 107 for example), one or more port 121 and/or one or more flexible membrane 108 adapted to cover the fluid cavity 120.

[0070] The flexible membrane 108 may comprise a coupling area adapted to be operatively coupled with a valve actuator and/or a measurement area adapted to be operatively coupled with a sensor of the reusable part of the system.

[0071] The cassette (the blood and/or dialysate cassette) may further comprise a handle 122 adapted to be gripped by the fingers of a user hand.

[0072] The membrane 108 may comprise a valve portion adapted to close and open the fluid pathway of the cassette. In this cassette, a lug/head of the valve actuator of the reusable part of the system may push the valve portion against the rigid part (for example the internal wall of the cavity of the rigid frame) in order to close the fluid pathway. The membrane 108 may be formed/molded/structured so as to have a determined shape at the contact portion 124 with the valve seat 123 in order to improve the tightness of the valve. The membrane (in particular the coupling area) may be formed/molded/structured so as to have a determined shape such as a clip element adapted to be removably coupled to a head of a valve actuator (not shown).

[0073] The figures 5b and 5b' show a schematic view (cross section) of the cassette (reference 106 from figure 4) wherein the valve is in an open position. The membrane (in particular the contact 124) is spaced apart from the valve seat 123. In the figure 5b, the membrane and the valve seat of the rigid frame are designed in order to have a rest position of the valve which is an open position. In the figure 5b', the membrane and the valve seat of the rigid frame are designed in order to have an open position when the membrane is pulled (for example by the valve actuator).

[0074] The figures 5c and 5c' show a schematic view (cross section) of the cassette (reference 106 in figure 4) wherein the valve is in a closed position. The membrane is in contact with the valve seat 123. In the figure 5c, the membrane and the valve seat of the rigid frame are designed in order to have a rest position of the valve which is a closed position. In the figure 5c', the membrane and the valve seat of the rigid frame are designed in order to have a closed position when the membrane is pushed (for example by the valve actuator) against the valve seat 123.

[0075] The (blood and/or dialysate) cassette may comprise a part of the pump. In one embodiment, the pump is a peristaltic pump. In this case, the cassette comprises a flexible tube in fluid communication with a first fluid pathway and a second fluid pathway of the cassette via dedicated ports. The flexible tube is intended to be pressed by at least two rollers of the pump against a rigid wall for example a part of the rigid frame of the cassette. The cassette may further comprise a roller assembly including at least two rollers, a roller support device, a coupling device intended to be operatively coupled with a pump actuator of the reusable part of the system.

[0076] Referring to the figure 6, the cassette comprises a flexible tube 201 which is connected to the fluid pathway 202 of the cassette 200, for example via an inlet port 203 and an outlet port 204. A roller assembly 205 is movably (by rotation) disposed into a cavity of the rigid frame of the cassette. The roller assembly 205 comprises at least two rollers 208 maintained by at least one support 206. The figure 6 further shows a shaft 207 which is a part of the pump actuator of the reusable part. The shaft 207 is intended to actuate the roller assembly 205. In this embodiment, the roller support 206 comprises a through hole in which the shaft 207 of the pump actuator is intended to be inserted when the cassette is loaded. The roller 208 may be driven by friction and/or may comprise a coupling device (coupled with the roller support 206) such as lug and hole or toothed gear. When the cassette is fully loaded the pump part of the cassette is operatively coupled to the pump actuator of the reusable part.

[0077] The roller 208 may be movable relative to its support, for example when the shaft of the pump actuator is inserted into the roller support 206, the external wall of the shaft pushes the roller 208, urging the roller in direction of the peripheral end of the support.

[0078] The cassette may be adapted to be inserted into an opening of the reusable part (apparatus) as described hereafter. In order to prevent any finger pinching between the cassette and the opening of the reusable part, the cassette may be adapted to be substantially fitted to the opening (so as to at least partially or fully obstruct or block the opening when a cassette is inserted). The handle and/or the tube(s) (of the cassette) may protrude from the cassette and from the housing of the apparatus when the cassette is fully inserted into the opening. Preferentially, the opening and the cassette are designed in such a manner as to never present any opening having any dimensions larger than 25 mm preferentially larger than 10 mm more preferentially larger than 8 mm or 5.6 mm when the cassette is fully inserted into the opening. For example, the cassette may comprise an edge which substantially obstructs the opening when the cassette is fully inserted into the opening (as described thereafter with the figures 22 and 23). One goal of such design is to avoid the penetration of any patient's finger or object of a similar size into the lodging of the cassette when a cassette is present.

[0079] The blood circuit comprises at least two tubes (arteria line and venous line) but preferentially the blood circuit comprises a dedicated cassette and five or six tubes (or more) which extend from the (blood) cassette. A first tube connected to the patient (arterial line), a second tube connected to the patient (venous line), a third tube connected to the blood return bag 19, a fourth (optional) tube connected to the blood return bag 19, a fifth tube connected to the dialyzer 2 (arterial line) and a sixth tube connected to the dialyzer 2 (or drip chamber 9) (venous line).

[0080] The dialysate circuit comprises at least two tubes (downstream and upstream of the dialyzer) but preferentially the dialysate circuit comprises a dedicated cassette and at least seven tubes which extend from the (dialysate) cassette: a first tube to the dialyzer 2, a second tube from the dialyzer 2, a third tube to the sorbent device 17, a fourth tube from the sorbent device 17, a fifth tube from the concentrate container 31, a sixth tube to the weighting container 13 and a seventh tube from the weighting container 13. Optional tubes and connection may be: from an initial supply container 28 or priming container 33, from additional supply container 32, from an (in line) heating system...

[0081] Other fluid pathways may be arranged into the cassette and at least a part of the fluid pathway comprising a valve may be arranged into the cassette. The figure 3 shows the potential limit of the dialysate cassette. The figure 2e shows the potential limit of the blood cassette. The shape and/or the size of these limits are just an illustration and are not to be taken in a limiting sense.

APPARATUS (REUSABLE PART)



[0082] The apparatus (also called dialysis unit) is a reusable part of the system. The apparatus is designed to be portable by a user; nevertheless, this apparatus is not designed to be fixed to the patient. As used in this specification and the appended claims, the term "portable" is generally employed in its sense including "light and small enough to be easily carried or moved" or "possible to take with you if you move to a different place" or "easily carried or conveyed by hand".

[0083] The figures 7 to 12 show a first potential embodiment of the dialysis system, the figures 33 to 36 show a second potential embodiment of the dialysis system and the figures 37 to 39 show a third potential embodiment of the dialysis system. Even if each embodiment has a specific shape, these embodiments may comprise the same or substantially the same assemblies or sub-assemblies (such as pole, container support, scale, sensor, loading system, door device, cassette, support, fluid circuit, container receiver, functional element, electronic device, handle, display device, ...) described in this document.

[0084] Referring now to the figure 7, the apparatus 300 comprises a housing 301 in which are arranged components for controlling a dialysis treatment. For example: a processor, a valve actuator, a sensor, at least a part of a blood pump adapted to cooperate with the blood line in order to move blood through blood line when the blood line is in fluid communication with a blood source (the patient) and at least a part of a dialysate pump adapted to cooperate with the dialysate line in order to move dialysate through the dialysate line when the dialysate line is in fluid communication with a dialysate source. The housing 301 has a front panel and side panels.

[0085] The housing may have at least one recess 318 (see fig. 11a) designed to be grasped by the hand of a user, the at least one recess may have a gripping element (for example a shape or a structure which is easy to be grasped by the hand). Preferentially, the apparatus comprises two recesses with gripping element arranged on two opposite side panels of the housing. The recesses may be located at a lower portion of the housing.

[0086] Preferentially, the apparatus comprises a display device 302 which may be a movable screen (such as a tablet) removably fixed to the apparatus via a screen support 303. The display device may comprise several screens showing a current status of the treatment, a setting screen, a text and video instruction, patient data, treatment data, ... The display device may comprise a processor connected to a memory which comprises a text and video instruction, patient data, treatment data, sound files, video files, ... The display device 302 may be removably attached to a container support 304 (for example a pole 312 (not shown)) or to the housing 301. The display device may comprise a display communication unit with a receiver and emitter wirelessly coupled to an apparatus communication unit arranged into the housing 301. Thus, the electronic part arranged into the housing 301 of the apparatus may wirelessly communicate with the display device. A link wire may provide the communication between the apparatus and the display device or use to recharge a battery of the display device. This link wire may comprise an USB connector or other standard connector (for example Apple standard connector). The use of a USB connector or standard connector allows using a standard tablet (I-Pad, Android tablet,...) as display device. Thus, in case of failure of the original display device, the user can change with a standard tablet.

[0087] The display device 302 may be used as an electronic health booklet for the treatment. The patient brings to the doctor his display device and the doctor may monitor the treatment history and other health data of the patient. The doctor may change the treatment parameters via the display device. Furthermore, the doctor may download the treatment parameters or other data from his computer (PC or other computing device of the doctor) to the display device wirelessly or via a wire connection (for example an USB connection). Furthermore, the display device may comprise an application or computer-executable instructions adapted to download data from and/or upload data to the doctor's computer and an internal memory configured to record the treatment history, the patient data (weight, blood pressure, alarm, UF, executed treatment, ...), the new treatment parameter, ...

[0088] The apparatus may comprise a standard connection port (for example USB port) connected to the electrical supply management device of the apparatus and/or connected to a processor of the apparatus, and the display device may comprise a standard connection port (for example USB port) connected to the electrical supply management device of the display device (connected to the battery of the display device) and/or connected to a processor of the display device.

[0089] The apparatus may further comprise an additional screen 305, a power button 306 or an emergency button 307. The additional screen 305 is designed to bring information to the user in a concise manner.

[0090] The display device provides more detail (videos, instructions, advises, ...) than the additional screen (alarms, failures, current treatment, progress bar, ...). The power button 306 may be designed to turn on or off the apparatus or to turn off all or a part of apparatus lights. The emergency button 307 may be designed to be activated during the treatment for example to command a premature end of treatment (for example to launch the blood return process before the end of the treatment). These buttons and screen are preferentially connected (via a wire connection) to the processor of the apparatus. In one embodiment, similar buttons may be arranged on and may be enable via the display device (via the touch screen for example).

[0091] The apparatus may comprise a dialyzer support 308 (configured and intended to removably secure the dialyzer) and a drip chamber support 309 (configured and intended to removably secure the drip chamber) which may be arranged on the front panel of the housing 301, on a lateral panel of the housing 301 or on a container support 304 (for example fixed to the pole).

[0092] Preferentially the housing comprises at least one opening (slot or groove) adapted to allow inserting one or two cassettes of the disposable part into the apparatus. The figure 7 shows a single opening and the figure 8 shows two distinct openings. The opening may be substantially horizontally (or vertically or inclined) extended on the front panel and/or a lateral panel of the housing 301. The figure 33 shows two vertical (and preferentially lateral) openings closed by vertical doors (such as sliding door, retractable door, revolving door or swing door). The figure 37 shows horizontal opening(s) closed by door(s) (a single door or two doors) (such sliding door, retractable door, revolving door or swing door) which may be adapted or configured to be used as a container receiver.

[0093] In case where the disposable part comprises two distinct cassettes, a single opening may be adapted for both cassettes or two openings may be arranged through the housing. In case where the apparatus comprises two distinct openings for inserting the cassettes through the housing, a first opening may be arranged in a first portion of the housing and the second opening may be arranged in a second portion.

[0094] For example, the figure 8 shows a housing 301 with a first opening 310 and a second opening 311. The first opening is horizontally extended through a first portion 319 of the housing 301. For example, the first opening 310 is horizontally extended from a part of the front panel 321 to a part of the side panel 322 of the first portion 319. The second opening 311 is horizontally extended through the second portion 320 of the housing 301. For example, the second opening 311 is horizontally extended from a part of the front panel 321 to a part of the side panel 323 of the second portion 320.

[0095] Between the both openings, the apparatus may comprise a rigid structure adapted to support the weight of the elements arranged above the openings so as not to deform the general structure of the apparatus.

[0096] The first opening 310 may be dedicated to the blood cassette and the second opening may be dedicated to the dialysate cassette. The figure 8 shows a first opening smaller than the second opening. The apparatus and/or the cassette may further comprise a mechanical coding in order to prevent the insertion of a cassette in a non-dedicated opening. Thus, the user cannot insert a blood cassette in the second opening and/or a dialysate cassette in the first opening. Preferentially the dialyzer support 308 is arranged between both openings and the drip chamber support at the first portion 312. The dialyzer support is configured in order not to obstruct any opening when the dialyzer is secured on its support, such that the cassette may be loaded to or unloaded from the apparatus.

[0097] The first portion may be called the blood side of the apparatus because this side receives the opening dedicated the blood cassette. The second portion may be called the dialysate side of the apparatus because this side receives the opening dedicated to the dialysate cassette.

[0098] Referring now to the figure 9, the user inserts a blood cassette through the first opening. In this embodiment, the blood cassette comprises a handle 122 by which the user grasps the blood cassette. The blood cassette is engaged and slid into the apparatus according to an axe defined by the apparatus 300 (Y or X axes). The cassette 106 further comprises at least one tube 116 which extends from a side of the cassette (preferentially a side which is perpendicular to the side comprising the handle or other side than the side of the handle or same side than the handle). At least one opening is adapted to allow the passage of the tube outside the apparatus through the opening of the side panel of the first portion (for example). To insert the blood cassette, the user manipulates the blood cassette by the handle, enters the cassette through the opening (for example of the front panel or of the side panel) and slides the cassette until the end of the path. At the end of the path, a sensor (not shown in figure 9) is adapted to detect the presence of the inserted cassette. This sensor sends (to the processor) data in order to inform the processor that the cassette is inserted.

[0099] Referring now to the figure 10, the user inserts a dialysate cassette through the second opening. In this embodiment, the dialysate cassette comprises a handle 122 by which the user grasps the dialysate cassette. The dialysate cassette is engaged and slid into the apparatus 300 according to an axe defined by the apparatus (Y or X axes). Said insertion axe of the dialysate may be the same of or opposite to the insertion axe of the blood cassette. The cassette 106 further comprises at least one tube 116 which extends from a side of the cassette (preferentially a side which is perpendicular to the side comprising the handle or other side than the side of the handle or same side than the handle). At least one opening is adapted to allow passage of the tube outside the apparatus 300 through the opening of the side panel of the second portion (for example). To insert the dialysate cassette, the user manipulates the dialysate cassette by the handle, enters the cassette 106 through the opening (for example of the front panel or of the side panel) and slides the cassette until the end of the path. At the end of the path, a sensor (not shown in figure 10) is arranged adapted to detect the presence of the cassette 106. This sensor sends to the processor the data in order to inform the processor that the cassette is inserted.

[0100] When the cassette is inserted a loading system may be automatically activated / launched. During the treatment, the opening may be closed by a door and/or a lock mechanism may block the cassette in an operating position. One or both may be activated by the loading system or at the start of the treatment. The lock mechanism may be a rod inserted through a hole arranged into the cassette.

[0101] Referring now to the figures 22 and 23, a cassette 106 comprises tubes 116 and an optional handle 109. The apparatus comprises an opening 324 arranged on a first side 327 of the housing and an additional opening arranged on a second side 328 of the housing. Preferentially, the first side 327 is substantially perpendicular to the second side 328. The opening 324 and the additional opening 325 provide an access to a cassette holder (at least for inserting or removing the cassette). The opening 324 and the additional opening 325 provide a continuous aperture so that a part of the apparatus is cantilevered above the cassette compartment. The opening 324 and the additional opening 325 define a horizontal, inclined or vertical plan (in respect of the apparatus) in which the cassette will be inserted during at least a part of the loading process or during the treatment.

[0102] The opening 324 is adapted to allow inserting and removing the cassette, thus the opening 324 may be larger than at least the side of cassette by which the cassette is inserted. At least during the insertion phase or withdrawn phase (of the cassette), guiding elements (of the cassette holder, for example tracks) are aligned with the opening(s) and arranged along with the plan defined by the openings.

[0103] The additional opening 325 is adapted to allow at least one element to protrude from the housing, for example the tubes, handle, ... The additional opening 325 may be smaller than the side of the cassette by which the elements protrude. For example, the opening 324 (shown at the figure 23a, b and c) has substantially the same size than the side of the cassette which comprises the handling element 109 while the additional opening (the side opening) 325 (as shown in the figure 23c) is shorter than the corresponding side of the cassette. The dashed line shows the limits of the cassette in the apparatus.

[0104] The figures 23a and b show the references "XX" and "YY", these references illustrate the recess formed by the cassette and the housing of the apparatus when the cassette is fully inserted. The size of XX and/or YY may be as small as possible (for example depending on the manufacturing tolerances) in order to provide an area substantially plane of at least one side (comprising the opening) of the apparatus when the cassette is fully inserted.

[0105] Other possible designs are shown by the figures 24, 25 and 26. The figure 25 shows a single opening 324 (no opening 325) for the cassette and a cassette comprising tubes and optionally a handle arranged on the same side. In another embodiment, a part of the tubes are arranged on the same side of the handle and another part of the tubes are arranged on an other side of the cassette as disclosed at the figure 26.

[0106] All features illustrated through the figures 22, 23, 24, 25 and 26 may be implemented to the blood cassette and/or the dialysate cassette and their dedicated opening(s) of the apparatus.

[0107] The apparatus may comprise container support 304 (such as a pole or a receiver) intended to receive one or more container (such as bag, syringe,...) during the treatment. The containers may be a part of the disposable part and the container support 304 may be a part of the reusable part. At least one container stored at least one of dialysate solution, saline solution, concentrate solution and other solution (heparin, calcium, pure water, ...).

[0108] As described above, the apparatus may comprise a container support 304 which is intended to receive or hold a solution bag during the treatment. The container support may be adapted to have a first position and a second position (and an optional third position). The first position is required during treatment and the second position may be required during the transport of the apparatus or when the apparatus is stored or when the apparatus does not perform any treatment. The second position allows having a compact apparatus with optimized size.

[0109] Referring to the figures 11a and 11b, the apparatus 300 comprises a pole 312 adapted to hold at least one solution bag (for example: dialysate, concentrate, saline, empty bag, UF bag, drain bag, ...). The solution bag may be removably fixed to the pole 312 via one or more hook 313. The pole 312 comprises a first position allowing supporting the bag during treatment. The pole 312 may be telescopic in such a manner that the length (l1) of the pole 312 (when it is placed in the first position) may be greater than the length (l2) of the pole 312 (when is placed in the second position). When the pole 312 is placed in a second position, the user may move the apparatus 300 by taking by the hand the pole 312 as a handle. The pole 312 may comprise a rotating fixing element 314 adapted to fix the pole to the housing of the apparatus and to move the pole from a first position to a second position and/or vice versa. A lock device (not shown) may be adapted in order to block the pole in a predefined position. Preferentially the container 19, 28, 32 and/or 33 is/are removably fixed to the pole 312 in preparation, priming and/or treatment configuration. The pole may comprise an electronic scale.

[0110] Referring to the figures 12a, b and c, the apparatus may comprise a movable container support 315 adapted to receive a solution bag (for example: dialysate, concentrate, saline, empty bag, UF bag, drain bag,...). The movable container support may comprise a receiver part having a concave shape designed to receive and to store at least one solution bag during the treatment. The apparatus 300 may comprise a fixing element 317 adapted to removably secure or to removably position or removably lay on the movable container support to/against the housing 301. The movable container support 315 comprises three positions, a first position required during treatment, a second position which may be required during the transport of the apparatus or when the apparatus is stored or when the apparatus does not perform any treatment and a third position providing an access to a container receiver 316 arranged below. The fixing element 317 may be a protrusion. The protrusion may comprise a protruded position allowing placing the movable container support in a first position and a retracted position allowing placing the movable container support in a second position.

[0111] The figure 12a shows the movable container support 315 in a second position. The movable container support is designed to optimize the size. The shape of the movable container support 315 and the shape of the container receiver 316 are designed in such a manner that the container receiver 316 may receive at least a part of the movable container support, for example the receiver part of the movable container support 315. Another part of the movable container support may be designed in such a manner to surround a part of the housing 301 when the movable container support is in the second position.

[0112] The figure 12b shows the movable container support in a third position so as to have an access to the container receiver 316. The movable container support may be removed from the apparatus (for example from the housing).

[0113] The figure 12c shows the movable container support 315 laid on or positioned on or secured to the fixing element 317 (for example the protrusion) when the movable container support is placed in a first position. In this position, a first solution bag may be stored in the movable container support 315 (for example a concentrate solution bag) and a second solution bag (different from the first, for example a dialysate solution bag or a saline solution bag) may be stored in the container receiver 316 (arranged below the movable container support). The container receiver 316 may comprise a heating element adapted to heat the bag stored in the container receiver. As the movable container support is placed above the heated bag, the bag stored in the movable container support can receive residual heat. The container receiver may be firmly secured to the apparatus.

[0114] This container receiver 316 may further comprise a weight scale in order to weigh the bag stored in the container receiver. The movable container support 315 may be designed in such a manner that the weigh scale is not disturbed by the movable container support or by the weight of the bag stored in the movable container support. In other terms, when the movable container support is in first position, (for example thanks to the fixing element and the shape of the container support or container receiver) the receiver part of the movable container support 316 is spaced far enough apart from the receiver part of the container receiver 316 in order to store a predetermined volume of fluid stored in the bag (received by the container receiver 316). In case where the system comprises a sorbent device and the container receiver stores the bag 13 of the figure 3, this volume of fluid is determined by taking into account a dialysate volume and the ultrafiltration resulting from the treatment. The dialysate volume may be a quantity commensurate with being recycled through the sorbent cartridge multiple times.

[0115] Preferentially the movable container support 315 receives a supply solution bag (for example a concentrate supply bag 31 or other) and the container receiver 316 receives a dialysate solution bag 13 (also called the weighing bag) used to mix and/or to weigh the cleaned dialysate (cleaned by the sorbent and comprising ultrafiltration) and a volume fraction of concentrate (progressively added during the treatment).

[0116] Referring now to the figure 33, the dialysis system 600 comprises an apparatus 601 having a housing 607, a first door 604 and a second door 605. The first door 604 is configured to allow accessing the cassette holder of the blood cassette 602 (for example). The second door 605 is configured to allow accessing the cassette holder of the dialysate cassette 603 (for example). The dialysis system 600 may comprise a loading system as described thereafter. The loading system may horizontally move the cassette holder (with or without the door) or the functional element support.

[0117] The figure 34 shows two views of the dialysis system 600 having a (extended and preferentially retractable) pole 609, a removable display device 610 and a weighting scale 611. The figure 35 shows the system 600 in functional condition. The system further comprises a sorbent device 612, the tubes 613 of the fluid circuits and the weighing bag 614.

[0118] The figure 36 shows an apparatus support 615 which may be modular and may be used as a luggage with rollers (as described thereafter). The apparatus support 615 may be configured to store the apparatus 601 into a cavity of the apparatus support 615 in transport condition. Optionally, the apparatus support 615 may be configured to support or to receive the apparatus on a surface of the apparatus support in functional condition.

[0119] The apparatus support 615 may further comprise a sorbent support 616 arranged on a side of the apparatus support and which may be retractable into the apparatus support. The apparatus support may comprise rollers, a planar surface and side doors.

[0120] The figure 37 shows another potential embodiment 700 having an apparatus 701, a display device 710, a door 704 allowing accessing to the cassette holder(s) and a heating compartment 705. In this embodiment, the loading system may move up and down the cassette holder with the door.

[0121] The figure 39 shows the system 700 in functional condition. The system further comprises a sorbent device 712, the tubes 713 of the fluid circuit and the weighing bag 714.

LOADING SYSTEM



[0122] Two distinct loading systems may be used for the apparatus. For both systems, the loading system 400 comprises a drive mechanism and a cassette holder 401 intended to removably receive a cassette. The cassette holder 401 is arranged into the housing of the apparatus. The aim of the loading system is to enable the coupling between dedicated active elements 404, 403, 402 of the apparatus and the cassette 106. Preferentially the dedicated active elements are the active elements which are intended to be operatively coupled to the cassette (for example to the coupling area and/or to the measurement area of the cassette) during the operating process (during the treatment, or a part of test process, for example). The dedicated active elements may be sensor 402 (air, pressure, blood detector,...), actuator of the pump 404, valve 403,... A part of or all dedicated active elements may be arranged on a support 406. Said support may be plate structured or/and intended to receive and/or to be in contact with or closer to an operative face of a cassette (in operating configuration). The operative face of the cassette is a face or a part of a face which comprises the measurement area (intended to cooperate with the pressure sensor of the apparatus) and/or the coupling area (intended to cooperate with the valve actuator or other actuator of the apparatus).

[0123] The drive mechanism is adapted to enable a first position wherein the cassette may be operatively coupled with the dedicated active elements of the apparatus and a second position wherein the cassette is not coupled with (for example spaced apart from) the dedicated active elements of the apparatus. The second position further allows charging the cassette into or removing the cassette from the cassette holder. When the loading system is in second position the opening and/or the cassette holder may be illuminated in order to inform the user that he can insert a cassette or remove the cassette. The illumination may be a specific color, for example a first color when the loading system is in a first position and a second color (different from the first) when the loading system is in a second position. Another indicator device may inform the patient about the position of the loading system, for example a sound, a voice, a movie, a text on the display device or on the additional display or a light illuminating a part of the dialyzer support.

[0124] The cassette holder 401 comprises rail or guiding element adapted to cooperate with the cassette in order to allow sliding relative movement there between, a mechanical stop and a sensor. The sensor may be adapted to detect an insertion of a cassette and/or a full insertion of the cassette. The sensor may be adapted to determine if the element inserted (into the opening) is a cassette or not (for example a finger, ...). For example, the sensor may be an optical sensor connected to the processor of the apparatus. For example, a transmitter emits an invisible infrared light beam to a receptor. The processor detects a finger or other things when the receptor does not receive the infrared light beam. The cassette may be substantially transparent thus the receptor can recognize the cassette thanks to the dispersed light which is detected by a sensor. The sensor may be arranged near the opening and/or near the mechanical stop.

[0125] In one embodiment, a first sensor is arranged close to a first end into the receiving compartment of the cassette holder (for example the opening) in order to detect the insertion of an object. A second sensor is arranged close to another end into the receiving compartment of the cassette holder (for example an opposite end of the first end) and adapted to detect a cassette fully inserted. In this embodiment, the first sensor may be optional. When the loading system is in a second position, the display device may display a message so as to inform the user to insert the cassette. After a predetermined period of time, if the first sensor does not detect any passage then the display device may display a message so as to inform the user that no cassette has been detected and an audible alarm may be triggered. If the first sensor detects an object but the second sensor does not detect any object after a predetermined period of time, then the display device may display a message so as to inform the user that the cassette has not been fully inserted and an audible alarm may be triggered. If the first sensor and the second sensor (or at least the second sensor alone) detect the cassette then the processor may authorize the loading process (the passage from the second position to a first position, which also described thereafter). A secure loading mechanism (as described thereafter) may check that both sensors or at least the second sensor detect the full insertion of the cassette and initiate the change of position when the user commands the loading process (for example by pushing a button as described thereafter). If the user does not command the loading system, then the display device may display a message so as to prompt the patient to push the button (for example).

[0126] In brief, the method of insertion may comprise the steps of:
  • Inserting the cassette through the opening of the apparatus;
  • Detecting the cassette; and
  • Allowing the activation of the loading system when the cassette is fully inserted.


[0127] In other terms, the processor, which operates with the loading system, is adapted to:
  • Receive a signal of at least one sensor corresponding to a detection of a cassette in the cassette holder,
  • Allow the activation of the loading system when the cassette is fully inserted,


[0128] The processor may be further adapted to (as similarly described thereafter)
  • Receive a signal corresponding to an activation of one or more button, said activation and allowance being verified by the security loading mechanism;
  • Initiate the change of position of the loading system by activating the drive mechanism.


[0129] Before starting the treatment (for example before that a fluid wets the cassette), the system may be adapted to abort the treatment if requested by the user. Thus, the system may comprise a button (for example a cancel button) arranged on the housing or displayed on the display device allowing to stop the process and to save the unused cassette. In this case, the processor may control the drive mechanism so to change the position if needed (from the first position to the second position) and the user can remove the cassette in order to use it at another time.

[0130] The cassette holder comprises one or more specific area (hole, opening, ...) where the dedicated active elements are intended to be coupled with the cassette.

[0131] According to a first embodiment, the drive mechanism is adapted to move the cassette holder relatively to the apparatus (for example to the housing and/or to the opening). The support 406 of the dedicated active elements may be firmly secured into the apparatus and are not moved by the drive mechanism.

[0132] According to a second embodiment, the drive mechanism is adapted to move one or more dedicated active elements (for example the support) relatively to apparatus (for example to the housing and/or to the opening). The cassette holder may be firmly secured into the apparatus and are not moved by the drive mechanism.

[0133] According to another embodiment, the drive mechanism is adapted to move one or more dedicated active elements and the cassette holder relatively to apparatus. Thus, the drive mechanism is used to bring the dedicated active elements and the cassette holder closer or to move away.

[0134] In all cases, preferentially, the opening(s) of the housing does (do) not move with the drive mechanism. In other terms, the opening(s) of the housing may be fixed and/or may have a fixed perimeter. Thus, according to the first embodiment described above, the openings of the cassette holder are aligned with the opening of the housing only when the loading system is in second position. According to the second embodiment described above, the openings of the cassette holder are aligned with the opening of the housing when the loading system is in first position and when the loading system is in second position.

[0135] Referring to the figure 13a, the first embodiment and the second embodiment may be used here. The loading system 400 is in open position allowing inserting the cassette into the cassette holder. The dedicated active elements are spaced apart from the specific area.

[0136] According to the figure 13b', the cassette holder is moved by the drive mechanism relatively to the dedicated active element in order to put the loading system (or the cassette holder) in a first position. According to the figure 13b", the dedicated active elements (or the support) are moved by the drive mechanism relatively to the cassette holder in order to put the loading system (or the dedicated active element or the support 406) in a first position.

[0137] The figure 13c shows the loading system 400 in the first position where a cassette may be coupled to the dedicated active elements. This position is maintained during the operating process, for example during the treatment.

[0138] According to the figure 13d', the cassette holder is moved by the drive mechanism relatively to the dedicated active element in order to put the loading system (or the cassette holder) in a second position. According to the figure 13d", the dedicated active elements (or the support) are moved by the drive mechanism relatively to the cassette holder in order to put the loading system (or the dedicated active element or the support 406) in a second position.

[0139] The figure 13e shows the loading system 400 in the second position. The dedicated active elements are spaced apart from the specific area. The cassette can be removed from the cassette holder.

[0140] The figure 13f shows the loading system 400 in a first position but without cassette. The figure 13g shows the loading system 400 in a second position without cassette. The figures 13f and 13g show a rest position which may be required when the apparatus is not used or is moved.

[0141] The loading system 400 may comprise a lock system which locks the inserted cassette in order to prevent a movement of the cassette during the treatment. This lock system may be at least one pin which cooperates with at least one cavity (for example a hole) of the cassette. The lock system may be activated by the drive mechanism. Thus, when the drive mechanism puts the loading system in the first position, the pin enters into the cavity of the cassette. And when the drive mechanism puts the loading system in the second position, the pin is removed from the cavity of the cassette. The lock system may be also used to perform a fine alignment of the cassette with the dedicated active element as a guiding element when the drive mechanism puts the loading system in the first position. The alignment of the cassette with the dedicated active element may be (fully or partially) insured by the shaft of the pump. The lock system may be the shaft of the pump when insert between the rollers.

[0142] The dialysate cassette holder may comprise a "dialysate" dedicated loading system and the blood cassette holder may comprise a "blood" dedicated loading system. Both dedicated loading systems may be substantially simultaneously activated or initiated. Or each dedicated loading system has to be separately activated or initiated. In case of dedicated loading system, each dedicated loading system may comprise a dedicated drive mechanism or both dedicated loading systems may be drove by a single drive mechanism.

[0143] The drive mechanism of the loading system (dedicated or not) may be automatically activated by the processor or may be enabled when the sensor of the cassette holder detects a full insertion of the cassette into the cassette holder. The drive mechanism may be activated by the user. The apparatus may comprise a secure loading mechanism which prevents a finger pinching when the user activates the drive mechanism. The secure loading mechanism may be a software solution and/or a hardware solution. For example, the apparatus may comprise two distinct buttons arranged for example on the housing or on the touch screen. Both buttons may have to be substantially simultaneously activated by the user to initiate the change of position of the loading system (from the second position to the first position). Preferably, the buttons are spaced far enough apart from each other in order to compel the user to use both hands (for example at least the average length of a child's hand). The button may be also spaced far enough apart from the opening(s), a safe distance may be equal to the length of a hand (for example at least the average length of a child's hand).

[0144] The secure loading mechanism may be adapted for preventing the patient from inadvertently initiating the change of position. For example, the secure loading mechanism may be configured to prevent the processor from initiating the change of position unless the user activates a button (arranged on the housing, or spaced apart from the housing or on the touch screen) according to an activation sequence and the sensor detect a full insertion of the cassette. The activation sequence may compel the user to hold the button activated or pressed during a predetermined time period (for example until the loading system has reached the first position). Thus, if the user no longer presses the button, the secure loading mechanism may send a signal to the processor in order to stop the loading process and go back to the second position the loading system. Thus the loading process may comprise the following steps:
  • Receive (by the processor) a signal corresponding to an activation of one or more button according to an activation sequence by the user, said activation being verified by the security loading mechanism;
  • Initiate the change of position of the loading system (or initiate the loading of the cassette into an operating configuration) by activating the drive mechanism; and,
  • Stop the drive mechanism or put the loading in an initial position (for example in the second position) by the secure loading mechanism in case of failure (for example if the user no longer presses the button according to an activation sequence).


[0145] The apparatus may comprise a sensor adapted to monitor or to detect at least one of first position and second position of the loading system 400. The sensor may be an optical sensor, a hall effect sensor, ... A first sensor may be intended to detect the first position and a second sensor may be intended to detect the second position.

[0146] In operating configuration, if the processor detects a change in the position, the processor may activate (temporarily or continuously) the drive mechanism in order to maintain the good position. In other embodiment, the cassette is maintained in the correct position throughout a treatment by friction. The loading system applies a residual force on the cassette (by design) and the processor does not apply any additional power to the drive mechanism.

[0147] The electrical load data (of the drive mechanism) is transmitted to the processor (also called processing unit). The electrical load data may be the voltage applies to the motor of the drive mechanism. When the voltage reaches a predetermined value, the processor may stop the motor. The electrical load data may be also used to detect a jam condition. In order to determine if a change (a peak or a threshold) of the electrical load data is caused by an end of the loading process or by a jam condition, the system may use data sent by the position sensor. For example, when the loading system moves from the second position to the first position, the second position sensor sends a signal to the processor for example so as to inform that the loading system is no longer at the second position (or, conversely, from the first to the second position, the first position sensor sends a signal to the processor). The processor monitors the electrical load data and if a predetermined threshold is reached before receiving a signal of the first sensor (for example for informing that the first position is reached), then the processor determines a jam condition. The processor triggers an alarm and the loading system goes back to the second position automatically. If a predetermined threshold is reached after receiving a signal of the first sensor (for example for informing that the first position is reached), then the processor determines that the first position is reached and stops the motor of the loading mechanism. The processor allows passing to the next step of the process.

[0148] In brief, the method of loading may comprise the steps of:
  • Initiating a change of position of the loading system (for example from the second to the first position or vice-versa);
  • Sensing a change of position (optional) (for example via the position sensor);
  • Sensing an electrical load data increase; and
  • Causing the stop of the loading process in jam condition or when the loading system has been reached the wanted position


[0149] In other terms, the processor, which operates with the loading system, is adapted to:
  • Initiate (for example if all condition is ok as described above) the loading process (for example initiate the motor of loading mechanism)
  • Receive the signal of at least one position sensor (for example from the second position sensor),
  • Receive the electrical load data of the motor
  • Stop automatically the loading process (for example the motor) when a predetermined threshold has been reached (for example of the electrical load data)
If the processor receives a signal from the other position sensor (for example the first position sensor) before reaching a predetermined threshold then the processor determine that the wanted position has been reached and passes to the next step.

[0150] If the processor does not receive any signal from the other sensor (for example the first position sensor) while a predetermined threshold is reached then the processor determines a jam condition and optionally initiates the motor in a reverse mode so as to go back to the initial position.

[0151] The predetermined threshold of the jam condition may be higher than or smaller than or equal to the predetermined threshold of the end of the loading process.

[0152] This method describes more particularly the loading process but the same concept may be applied to the unloading process.

[0153] The figure 14 is an exploded view of a loading system 400. The loading system 400 comprises cassette holder 401, a support 406 of the dedicated active elements and a drive mechanism 409. In this embodiment, the drive mechanism may comprise an electric motor, a drive assembly (for example a toothed drive assembly) and a guiding assembly. The guiding assembly may comprise one or more rod (preferably 2, more preferably 3) and one or more guiding element (for example through holes (preferably 2, more preferably 3)) intended to slide along the rod. The guiding element may be arranged on or secured to the support of the dedicated active element.

[0154] The figures 15 show 3D views of one embodiment of the loading system in which the drive mechanism is adapted to move the support of the dedicated active elements relatively to the apparatus. The figure 15a shows the loading system in a first position without cassette, the figure 15b shows the loading system in a second position without cassette, the figure 15c shows the loading system in a first position with a cassette and the figure 15d shows the loading system in a second position with a cassette. In these figures, the cassette is inserted through a first opening of the cassette support, the cassette holder further comprises a second opening to pass the tubes of the cassette laterally (which is perpendicular to the first opening).

[0155] The figure 16 discloses an exploded view of an example of the first embodiment of a loading system 400. The loading system 400 comprises cassette holder 401, a support 406 of the dedicated active elements and a drive mechanism 409. The drive mechanism may comprise an electric motor 411, a drive assembly (for example a toothed drive assembly) and a guiding assembly. The guiding assembly may comprise one or more guiding element (preferably 2, more preferably 4) and one or more pin (preferably 2, more preferably 4) intended to slide along or against the guiding element. The pin may be arranged on or secured to the support of the dedicated active element. The guiding elements are arranged on a support 413 (for example a plate) which moves relatively to the apparatus. The guiding elements are intended to transform a first axial movement into a second axial movement which is different from the first axial movement. The guiding elements may have an opened L shape, a comma shape, ... The motor 410 is actuated in order to rotate a pinion gear which moves the guiding element support 413 in accordance with a Y axe. The loading system is designed in such a manner that the movement of guiding element support induces a movement of the cassette holder in accordance with a Z axe (which is perpendicular to the Y axe). For example, the cassette holder has a movement restrictor adapted to prevent movements other than Z axe movement. Thus, a Y axe movement of the guiding element induces a Z axe movement of the pin (relatively to the apparatus).

DOOR DEVICE



[0156] In order to protect the active element(s) of the apparatus and/or to substantially obstruct the opening (with or without cassette), the system may comprise a door device comprising a door 415 and/or a flexible element. For example, the door may be a sliding door or a retractable door or a revolving door or swing door. For example, the flexible element may be a sheet and may cover at least partially the opening. The flexible element may be adapted to be bend when the cassette is inserted into the opening or when tubes or handle protrude from the opening. An example of a flexible element 423 is shown in the figure 30g. In this case, the flexible element is fixed to the apparatus, for example to the apparatus body (such as the housing), or for example to a moveable part of the apparatus body (such as the housing).

[0157] The opening and/or the closing of the door device may be manual and/or automatic for example controlled by the processor. Preferentially, the door 415 is (initially) closed and may be open only in order to insert a cassette into the opening. The door may comprise two positions an open position which allows loading or unloading a cassette into/from the cassette holder and a closed position which substantially or at least partially obstructs the opening.

[0158] The figures 31a and b show a part of the housing comprising a door device including a sliding door. The embodiment shown by the figure 31a further comprises a manual door actuator 416 configured to manually open and/or close the sliding door. The user can lower (or respectively pull up) the manual door actuator in order to slide the door so as to open or to close the door.

[0159] The door device may comprise a lock system 418 and/or a constraint system 419 in order to maintain the door in a determined position, for example in an open position or in a closed position. At least a part of the lock system 418 and/or at least a part of the constraint system 419 may be rigidly fastened to a (rigid) body of the apparatus (for example a part of the housing).

[0160] The figure 32 is an interior view of a (rigid) body of the apparatus (for example a part of the housing), some elements are not shown in order to focus on the lock system 418 and the constraint system 419.

[0161] The door device may comprise a protrusion adapted to be removably coupled to the lock system 417 when the door is in a determined position (for example when the door is opened) such that the user can easily insert the cassette. The lock system may comprise an elastic element (spring, elastic strip, ...) which constraints a retaining element (lug, clip, protrusion, anchor,...) adapted to be coupled with the protrusion of the door. The lock system may be disabled by the user by pushing on the manual door actuator (for example). The lock system may be disabled by the processor via a dedicated (connected) actuator (not shown) or via the loading system. In the last case, the loading system may be adapted to disable the lock system when the loading system is actuated (when is moved from a first position to a second position and/or vice versa).

[0162] The door device may comprise a sliding element adapted to slide through a guiding element of the (rigid) body of the apparatus (for example a part of the housing) in order to restrict the movement of the door (or inversely, the apparatus body may comprise the sliding element and the door may comprise the guiding element). The sliding element may be a through hole or a protrusion of the door device and the guiding element may be a rod (for example steel rod) or a recess for example arranged on the (rigid) body of the apparatus (for example a part of the housing).

[0163] The constraint system 419 may exert a force against the door and against the (rigid) body of the apparatus (for example a part of the housing) so as to close the door or to force the door in a closed position. The constraint system 419 may comprise elastic element (spring, elastic strip, ...).

[0164] In a preferred embodiment, the door is opened thanks to the loading system and is closed by the constraint system. In this case, the door device and/or the loading system may comprise a coupling element 422.

[0165] The coupling element may be a protrusion of the door which is configured to mechanically cooperate with the loading system. Thus, for example, when the loading system is moved to the second position, the loading system pushes the door system down in order to open the door (and the constraint system is compressed). When the loading system is moved to the first position, the constraint system pushes up the door in order to close the door (the coupling element or the cassette may limit the door movement).

[0166] The coupling element may be disabled by the processor (via for example an actuator) or via a button pushed by the user (as disclosed by the figure 31a) thus even if the loading is in second position, the door may be closed by disabling the coupling element.

[0167] In one embodiment, when the loading system moves in a second position, the loading system opens the door via the coupling element and then a lock system maintains the door in open position. The coupling element or the lock system may be disable in order to close the door (even if the loading system is in the first or second position) by the processor or the user as disclosed above.

[0168] The figure 30a shows a door 415 in closed position and the loading system in a first position without cassette. The system comprises an elastic element 421 which may be a spring or an elastic strip or arm which constraints the door 415 in a closed position. The door and/or the loading system further comprises a coupling element 422 configured to (only) allow the loading system to move the door up to an open position (for example: from a closed position to an open position) as shown in the figure 30b. The figure 30c and 30d show the embodiment with an inserted cassette. The cassette 106 is inserted and the loading system is in a first position. In the figure 30c, the door is no longer maintained in open position by the loading system but by the cassette. The door may be used to block the cassette inserted when the loading system is in first position. In the figure 30d, the door is in closed position with an inserted cassette.

[0169] The door device may comprise several parts of door such that a first part of the door device may fully close the opening (for example: where the cassette does not comprise any protrusion which extends outside the apparatus (no tube no handle)) and such that a second part of the door device may maintain in a open position or in a partial closed or open position (for example: where the elements of the cassette protrudes and extends outside the apparatus (such as handle, tubes,...))

[0170] The figure 30e to 30h discloses another embodiment where the loading system moves the cassette holder, for example such embodiment may be adapted for the apparatus shown in the figure 37. In this embodiment, the loading system may move the container receiver or the top housing up and down (and have a sliding door as described above). The figures 30e to 30h show the last case. The system comprises a sliding door 415, a top housing 420', a (movable) cassette holder 401 and a (fixed) element support 406. The loading system is configured to move the cassette holder. The sliding door is maintained in a first position by an elastic element (spring or other similar element). When the loading system is in first position without cassette, the sliding door 415 is maintained in the first position by the elastic element such that the door closes the opening. In figure 30f, the loading system moves in the second position, the sliding door is substantially in a same previous position (a mechanical stop may maintain the sliding door in a first position) but the cassette holder is in an open position. In figures 30g and 30h, a cassette has been inserted and the loading system is in first position. Referring to the figure 30g, an element of the cassette protrudes from the opening and the door is maintained by this element in the open position or in an intermediary position for example in a partial close or partial open position. Referring to the figure 30h, the cassette is inserted and the door is closed.

[0171] In another potential embodiment, the door device may comprise a swing door which is opened on top or laterally.

DRIP CHAMBER SUPPORT



[0172] The drip chamber 501 is used to remove air bubble from the blood circuit. The support 500 of the drip chamber 501 is used to removably fix the drip chamber to the apparatus. The drip chamber support 500 may be arranged on a face of the apparatus housing or in the pole. The figure 18 shows an embodiment of the drip chamber support 500 with a drip chamber 501. The drip chamber support may comprise a body 502 secured to the apparatus and a level sensor. The level sensor may be an optical sensor, a wave sensor or a capacitive sensor. The level sensor is preferentially arranged into the body of the drip chamber support. The drip chamber support may further comprise a mechanical coding system 504 intended to maintain or insure a good/required position of the drip chamber relative to the drip chamber support or to the level sensor. The coding system 504 is designed in order to compel the position of the drip chamber relatively to the drip chamber support. For example, the drip chamber support may have a protrusion. The protrusion may be adapted to adjust the vertical position of the drip chamber in accordance with the level sensor. The drip chamber support may have a lock system 503.

LUGGAGE



[0173] In order to improve the travel experience, the system may comprise an apparatus support (such as a bag or a luggage or a movable furniture) adapted to store the apparatus, for example a hand luggage, during the travel. The apparatus (housing with or without container support, with or without dialyzer support,...) may be sized in order to be smaller than the bag (hand luggage), at least one dimension smaller than 31 cm, another dimension smaller than 51 cm and/or another dimension smaller than 61 cm.

[0174] The figure 19 shows an apparatus stored in hand luggage. The hand luggage is drawn in dotted line and comprises a handle. The size shown in this figure is done as an example. The bag may comprise at least two distinct housing cavities, a first housing cavity intended to receive the apparatus and a second housing cavity intended to receive the display device 302 (for example a tablet).

[0175] The hand luggage may comprise a door having an open position and a closed position. The open position of the door allows placing the apparatus into the hand luggage (for example into a dedicated housing cavity) and the closed position allows moving the hand luggage in a secure manner. The hand luggage may further comprise rigid part (for example the side wall or the upper wall or the lower wall of the hand luggage) designed to protect the apparatus.

[0176] The hand luggage may be used as an apparatus support which may comprise a platform configured to support the apparatus in operating configuration.

[0177] The hand luggage may comprise retractable handle and/or retractable rollers (or wheels).

[0178] The figure 36 illustrates an other embodiment of the apparatus support.


Claims

1. A blood treatment system including:

• a blood line including a blood cassette;

• a dialysate line including a dialysate cassette;

• a dialyzer including a blood compartment in fluid communication with the blood line and a dialysate compartment in fluid communication with the dialysate line;

• a dialysis unit, which includes components for controlling a dialysis treatment including a processor, a valve actuator, a sensor, a blood pumping mechanism adapted to cooperate with the blood line in order to move blood through the blood line when the blood line is in fluid communication with a blood source, a dialysate pumping mechanism adapted to cooperate with the dialysate line in order to move dialysate through the dialysate line when the dialysate line is in fluid communication with a dialysate source and a component support adapted to hold at least one of the valve actuator, the sensor, the blood pumping mechanism and the dialysate pumping mechanism.

• a housing in which the components of the dialysis unit are arranged, the housing having a front panel and a pair of lateral panels;

• a blood cassette holder arranged into the housing and intended to removably receive the blood cassette; and

• a dialysate cassette holder arranged into the housing and intended to removably receive the dialysate cassette;

wherein the dialysis unit further comprises a loading system comprising a first position required in operating configuration and a second position allowing the insertion or the removal of at least one of the blood cassette and the dialysate cassette,
wherein the loading system comprises a drive mechanism controlled by the processor and adapted to enable reaching the first and the second position.
 
2. System according to the claim 1 comprising an indicator device adapted to inform the user about the current position of the loading system.
 
3. System according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the blood cassette holder and/or the dialysate cassette holder are configured to move relatively to the housing.
 
4. System according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the component support is configured to move relatively to the housing.
 
5. System according to any one of the previous claims, wherein the drive mechanism is adapted to move the cassette holder(s) and/or the component support substantially perpendicularly according to the main plane of the cassette.
 
6. System according to any one of the previous claims, wherein at least one of the blood pumping mechanism and the dialysate pumping mechanism comprises a shaft and respectively at least one of the blood cassette and the dialysate cassette comprises a roller assembly configured to be operatively coupled with the shaft and to allow an alignment of the cassette such that at least one of the valve actuator and the sensor is coupled to a dedicated area of the cassette, when the loading system is in the first position.
 
7. System according to any one of the previous claims comprising at least one opening configured to allow at least one of the blood cassette and the dialysate cassette to be inserted into the housing.
 
8. System according to the claim 7, wherein the at least one opening comprises a first opening dedicated to the blood cassette and a second opening dedicated to the dialysate cassette.
 
9. System according to the claim 7, wherein the at least one opening is substantially horizontally arranged.
 
10. System according to the claim 7, wherein the at least one opening extends from a part of a panel to another panel.
 
11. System according to any one of the previous claims further comprising a movable container support having a first position required in operating configuration and a second position intended to transport the system.
 
12. System according to the claim 11, wherein the movable container support is a pole fixed to the dialysis unit by a rotating fixing element adapted to move the pole from a first position to a second position and/or vice versa.
 
13. System according to the claim 11, wherein the movable container support comprises a receiver part having a concave shape designed to receive and to store at least one solution bag.
 
14. System according to the claim 13, wherein the dialysis unit comprises in an upper portion a container receiver designed to receive and to store at least one solution bag wherein the movable container support is arranged above the container receiver.
 
15. System according to the claim 14, wherein, in operating configuration, the receiver part of the movable container support is spaced far enough apart from the receiver part of the container receiver so as to enable receiving in the container receiver a bag having a volume being equal to or greater than a volume of dialysate and an ultrafiltration volume.
 




Drawing