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Toray Wins 2022 Japan Patent Office Commissioner’s Award for Inventing Anti-Thrombogenic Dialysis Module

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Jul. 1, 2022

Toray Industries, Inc.

Tokyo, Japan, July 1, 2022 – Toray Industries, Inc., announced today that the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation has selected the company as the winner of the 2022 Japan Patent Office Commissioner’s Award to recognize the creation of an anti-thrombogenic dialysis module for kidney patients. The award is part of the institute’s National Commendation for Invention program. The patent number of the module is 6003641. The inventors, all from Toray Group, are Yoshiyuki Ueno, Masaki Fujita, Hiroyuki Sugaya, Kazuyuki Hashimoto, Hiroyuki Terasaka, and Ryo Koganemaru.

Low anti-thrombogenicity of dialysis modules causes blood to coagulate. The resulting residual blood in modules after treatment clogs hollow fiber membranes. Toray found that 1) blood retention control, 2) smoothing inner surfaces of hollow fiber membranes in contact with blood, and 3) non-adhesion of blood components to membranes are all vital for anti-thrombogenic dialysis modules. The company earned top marks for developing a practical anti-thrombogenic dialysis module that meets all three needs. This technology will help improve the quality of life for chronic and acute renal failure patients and lighten the workloads of medical professionals.

The six joint inventors from Toray received the award at a ceremony on Thursday, June 30, in the presence of His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi.

Toray award-winners (from left) are Mr. Fujita, Mr. Ueno, Mr. Sugaya,
Mr. Koganemaru, Mr. Hashimoto, and Mr. Terasaka.

Toray will push ahead with developing high-value-added medical materials with this technology to transform societies and pursue sustainable growth in keeping with its commitment to innovating ideas, technologies, and products that deliver new value.

 Award Overview
1. Invention title
Anti-thrombogenic dialysis module


Patent number


Award recipients
Yoshiyuki Ueno, Chief Research Associate at Medical Devices & Materials Research Laboratory of Advanced Materials Research Laboratories, Toray Industries, Inc.
Masaki Fujita, Research Associate at Medical Devices & Materials Research Laboratory of Advanced Materials Research Laboratories, Toray Industries, Inc.
Hiroyuki Sugaya, Director and General Manager of Advanced Materials Research Laboratories, Toray Industries, Inc.
Kazuyuki Hashimoto, Senior Manager at Torefeeder Business Development Division, Toray Precision Co., Ltd.
Hiroyuki Terasaka, Senior Manager at Hot Balloon Catheter Business Department (at Seta Plant), Toray Industries, Inc.
Ryo Koganemaru, Patent Searcher of Techno Search, Inc.
4. Features of award-winning technology
A dialysis module is a medical device that circulates the blood of kidney patients outside their bodies to cleanse it. Its casing incorporates around 10,000 hollow fiber membrane bundles. These membranes typically blend polysulfone polymers and hydrophilic polyvinylpyrrolidone for anti-thrombogenic performance, but further functional improvements have been desirable.
    Toray leveraged computational chemistry to design polymers based on a unique hypothesis that focuses on the mobility of water (adsorbed water) interacting with polymers. It consequently discovered an anti-thrombogenic polymer that can inhibit platelet adhesion much more than compared to polyvinylpyrrolidone and innovated a technology to create nanometer-thick hollow fiber membranes whose inner surfaces can be made smooth. The company developed and commercialized dialysis modules for chronic and acute renal failure by uniformly arranging the hollow fiber membrane bundles within casing to control blood retention areas. Toray’s anti-thrombogenic dialysis module delivers better blood flow, less adhesion of proteins, platelets, and other blood components, and less membrane clogging than a previous offering from the company.


 Applications to date
The first product using this award-winning technology it was Toraylight™ NV, a hemodialyzer for chronic renal failure that it launched in 2011. Others have been Toraylight™ HDF and Toraysulfone® NV hemodialysis filters and HEMOFEEL™ SNV, which provides continuous and gentle hemofiltration for acute renal failure. Sales to date have exceeded about 100 million units. The technology has contributed to quality of life and clinical efficiency in enhancing anti-thrombogenic performance. It has earned accolades in clinical studies, which have reported reduced residual blood and longer membrane life than with conventional products.

About National Commendation for Invention
The Imperial Household presents these annual awards, whose sponsor is the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation. They go to individuals for completing or striving to commercialize exceptional inventions and to those helping materialize inventions. The awards aim to encourage and foster inventiveness and the progress of science and technology and industry in Japan.

Toray’s National Commendation for Invention wins since fiscal 2006
Fiscal year Award Invention Key inventors
2017 The Invention Prize Biaxially stretched polyester film with heat resistance Takuji Higashioji
2015 The Invention Prize Polyimide (precursor) coating material for insulating layer in organic electro luminescence Kazuto Miyoshi
2013 The Invention Prize Nalfurafine hydrochloride, a kappa-receptor agonist Hiroshi Nagase
2012 The Invention Prize Photosensitive glass paste for forming barrier ribs on plasma display panel Yuichiro Iguchi
2010 The Prize of the Chairman of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Waterless computer-to-plate technology  Kazuki Goto
2009 Prime Minister’s Prize Method for thermal welding of fiber reinforced thermosetting plastics and an integrated molded object Masato Honma
 The link below shows commendations before 2005: