William Fissell
Last active: 2/22/2016


In addition to Dr. Fissell’s clinical expertise in general nephrology, he has long had a particular interest in the delivery of care for patients with acute and chronic renal failure requiring dialysis therapy. His expertise has allowed him to find novel solutions to patient’s difficult dialysis problems.

Dr. Fissell’s research interests parallel his patient care interests. He is a biomedical engineer and physician who is developing an implantable artificial kidney to treat kidney failure. Over a half million people in the United States have permanent kidney failure. The best treatment for kidney failure is a kidney transplant. Due to a shortage of organs, only the very lucky few are able resume healthy lives with a transplant after kidney failure. The only other treatment available is dialysis. Although dialysis is lifesaving, it is laborious, time-consuming, and is associated with poorer survival than transplant. During his undergraduate years at M.I.T., Dr. Fissell worked in the laboratory of Claude R. Canizare developing spectroscopy instruments for NASA's Chandra Observatory. Dr. Fissell then spent several years working as an advanced life support paramedic for Cataldo Ambulance before returning to school at Case Western Reserve University Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio. During his internal medicine residency, he made the fortuitous observation that the filtration structures in the healthy kidney resembled the Chandra HETG on which he had worked as an undergraduate. This stimulated the idea that silicon nanotechnology might be an enabling technology for organ replacement.

Dr. Fissell was very fortunate to develop partnerships with Dr. H. David Humes at University of Michigan and Dr. Shuvo Roy, now at UCSF. Dr. Roy and Dr. Fissell now co-direct The Kidney Project, a multiyear NIH-funded project to create the first implantable artificial kidney.

Dr. Fissell is now Associate Professor of Medicine and Biomedical Engineering at Vanderbilt University, where he directs research in artificial organs, tissue engineering, pharmacokinetics, and dialysis in acute kidney injury.


The following timeline graph is generated from all co-authored publications.

Featured publications are shown below:

  1. Preliminary Diffusive Clearance of Silicon Nanopore Membranes in a Parallel Plate Configuration for Renal Replacement Therapy. Kim S, Heller J, Iqbal Z, Kant R, Kim EJ, Durack J, Saeed M, Do L, Hetts S, Wilson M, Brakeman P, Fissell WH, Roy S (2016) ASAIO J 62(2): 169-75
    › Primary publication · 26692401 (PubMed) · PMC4777646 (PubMed Central)
  2. Bridging Translation by Improving Preclinical Study Design in AKI. de Caestecker M, Humphreys BD, Liu KD, Fissell WH, Cerda J, Nolin TD, Askenazi D, Mour G, Harrell FE, Pullen N, Okusa MD, Faubel S, ASN AKI Advisory Group (2015) J Am Soc Nephrol 26(12): 2905-16
    › Primary publication · 26538634 (PubMed) · PMC4657852 (PubMed Central)
  3. Optimal design of perturbations for individual two-compartment pharmacokinetic analysis. Shotwell MS, Zhou M, Fissell WH (2016) J Biopharm Stat 26(5): 803-15
    › Primary publication · 26247447 (PubMed) · PMC4744591 (PubMed Central)
  4. Shear stress is normalized in glomerular capillaries following ⅚ nephrectomy. Ferrell N, Sandoval RM, Bian A, Campos-Bilderback SB, Molitoris BA, Fissell WH (2015) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 308(6): F588-93
    › Primary publication · 25587117 (PubMed) · PMC4360039 (PubMed Central)
  5. Current strategies and challenges in engineering a bioartificial kidney. Kim S, Fissell WH, Humes DH, Roy S (2015) Front Biosci (Elite Ed) 7(2): 215-28
    › Primary publication · 25553375 (PubMed) · PMC4383659 (PubMed Central)
  6. Staying on target with continuous dialysis. Demirjian S, Fissell WH (2015) Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 10(1): 7-8
    › Primary publication · 25538268 (PubMed) · PMC4284419 (PubMed Central)
  7. Pharmacokinetic assessment in patients receiving continuous RRT: perspectives from the Kidney Health Initiative. Nolin TD, Aronoff GR, Fissell WH, Jain L, Madabushi R, Reynolds K, Zhang L, Huang SM, Mehrotra R, Flessner MF, Leypoldt JK, Witcher JW, Zineh I, Archdeacon P, Roy-Chaudhury P, Goldstein SL, Kidney Health Initiative (2015) Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 10(1): 159-64
    › Primary publication · 25189923 (PubMed) · PMC4284416 (PubMed Central)
  8. Imaging assessment of a portable hemodialysis device: detection of possible failure modes and monitoring of functional performance. Olorunsola OG, Kim SH, Chang R, Kuo YC, Hetts SW, Heller A, Kant R, Saeed M, Fissell WH, Roy S, Wilson MW (2014) Med Instrum (Luton) 2(2)
    › Primary publication · 25045526 (PubMed) · PMC4101171 (PubMed Central)
  9. Laboratory assays in renal failure: therapeutic drug monitoring. Fissell WH (2014) Semin Dial 27(6): 614-7
    › Primary publication · 24995571 (PubMed)
  10. Hemodialysis: core curriculum 2014. Golper TA, Fissell R, Fissell WH, Hartle PM, Sanders ML, Schulman G (2014) Am J Kidney Dis 63(1): 153-63
    › Primary publication · 24268927 (PubMed) · PMC4276338 (PubMed Central)
  11. What is nanotechnology? Fissell WH (2013) Adv Chronic Kidney Dis 20(6): 452-3
    › Primary publication · 24206597 (PubMed)
  12. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of imipenem and meropenem in critically ill patients treated with continuous venovenous hemodialysis. Afshartous D, Bauer SR, Connor MJ, Aduroja OA, Amde M, Salem C, Groszek JJ, Fissell WH (2014) Am J Kidney Dis 63(1): 170-1
    › Primary publication · 24145021 (PubMed) · PMC4933593 (PubMed Central)
  13. The bioartificial kidney: current status and future promise. Humes HD, Buffington D, Westover AJ, Roy S, Fissell WH (2014) Pediatr Nephrol 29(3): 343-51
    › Primary publication · 23619508 (PubMed)
  14. Effects of pressure and electrical charge on macromolecular transport across bovine lens basement membrane. Ferrell N, Cameron KO, Groszek JJ, Hofmann CL, Li L, Smith RA, Bian A, Shintani A, Zydney AL, Fissell WH (2013) Biophys J 104(7): 1476-84
    › Primary publication · 23561524 (PubMed) · PMC3617438 (PubMed Central)
  15. Achieving more frequent and longer dialysis for the majority: wearable dialysis and implantable artificial kidney devices. Fissell WH, Roy S, Davenport A (2013) Kidney Int 84(2): 256-64
    › Primary publication · 23407434 (PubMed)
  16. Antimicrobial dosing in acute renal replacement. Fissell WH (2013) Adv Chronic Kidney Dis 20(1): 85-93
    › Primary publication · 23265600 (PubMed) · PMC3807249 (PubMed Central)
  17. Intradialytic hypotension: a case for going slow and looking carefully. Garg N, Fissell WH (2013) Nephrol Dial Transplant 28(2): 247-9
    › Primary publication · 22848109 (PubMed)
  18. Use of therapeutic drug monitoring to treat Elizabethkingia meningoseptica meningitis and bacteraemia in an adult. Neuner EA, Ahrens CL, Groszek JJ, Isada C, Vogelbaum MA, Fissell WH, Bhimraj A (2012) J Antimicrob Chemother 67(6): 1558-60
    › Primary publication · 22357803 (PubMed) · PMC3350328 (PubMed Central)
  19. A low-cost automated streaming potential measurement system. Smith RA, Fissell WH, Fleischman AJ, Zorman CA (2012) J Lab Autom 17(2): 125-33
    › Primary publication · 22357558 (PubMed)
  20. Illuminating the glomerular filtration barrier, two photons at a time. Fissell WH (2012) J Am Soc Nephrol 23(3): 373-5
    › Primary publication · 22323639 (PubMed)
  21. Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of piperacillin-tazobactam in 42 patients treated with concomitant CRRT. Bauer SR, Salem C, Connor MJ, Groszek J, Taylor ME, Wei P, Tolwani AJ, Fissell WH (2012) Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 7(3): 452-7
    › Primary publication · 22282479 (PubMed) · PMC3302674 (PubMed Central)
  22. Albumin handling by renal tubular epithelial cells in a microfluidic bioreactor. Ferrell N, Ricci KB, Groszek J, Marmerstein JT, Fissell WH (2012) Biotechnol Bioeng 109(3): 797-803
    › Primary publication · 22012446 (PubMed) · PMC3285552 (PubMed Central)
  23. Detectability of vasopressin in continuous venovenous hemodialysis effluent of patients with vasodilatory shock treated with exogenous arginine vasopressin. Bauer SR, Culver DA, Abraham S, Lam SW, Fissell WH, Wiedemann HP, Reddy AJ (2011) Pharmacotherapy 31(9): 857-62
    › Primary publication · 21923586 (PubMed)
  24. Implanted renal replacement for end-stage renal disease. Roy S, Goldman K, Marchant R, Zydney A, Brown D, Fleischman A, Conlisk A, Desai T, Duffy S, Humes H, Fissell W (2011) Panminerva Med 53(3): 155-66
    › Primary publication · 21775942 (PubMed)
  25. Reduced diffusion of charge-modified, conformationally intact anionic Ficoll relative to neutral Ficoll across the rat glomerular filtration barrier in vivo. Axelsson J, Sverrisson K, Rippe A, Fissell W, Rippe B (2011) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 301(4): F708-12
    › Primary publication · 21775478 (PubMed)
  26. Hypophosphatemia during continuous hemodialysis is associated with prolonged respiratory failure in patients with acute kidney injury. Demirjian S, Teo BW, Guzman JA, Heyka RJ, Paganini EP, Fissell WH, Schold JD, Schreiber MJ (2011) Nephrol Dial Transplant 26(11): 3508-14
    › Primary publication · 21382993 (PubMed)
  27. Hemocompatibility of silicon-based substrates for biomedical implant applications. Muthusubramaniam L, Lowe R, Fissell WH, Li L, Marchant RE, Desai TA, Roy S (2011) Ann Biomed Eng 39(4): 1296-305
    › Primary publication · 21287275 (PubMed) · PMC3069312 (PubMed Central)
  28. Therapeutic drug monitoring of piperacillin-tazobactam using spent dialysate effluent in patients receiving continuous venovenous hemodialysis. Connor MJ, Salem C, Bauer SR, Hofmann CL, Groszek J, Butler R, Rehm SJ, Fissell WH (2011) Antimicrob Agents Chemother 55(2): 557-60
    › Primary publication · 21115798 (PubMed) · PMC3028791 (PubMed Central)
  29. Basal lamina secreted by MDCK cells has size- and charge-selective properties. Ferrell N, Groszek J, Li L, Smith R, Butler RS, Zorman CA, Roy S, Fissell WH (2011) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 300(1): F86-90
    › Primary publication · 20980405 (PubMed) · PMC3023222 (PubMed Central)
  30. Molecular conformation and filtration properties of anionic Ficoll. Groszek J, Li L, Ferrell N, Smith R, Zorman CA, Hofmann CL, Roy S, Fissell WH (2010) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 299(4): F752-7
    › Primary publication · 20668097 (PubMed)
  31. A microfluidic bioreactor with integrated transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) measurement electrodes for evaluation of renal epithelial cells. Ferrell N, Desai RR, Fleischman AJ, Roy S, Humes HD, Fissell WH (2010) Biotechnol Bioeng 107(4): 707-16
    › Primary publication · 20552673 (PubMed) · PMC3903011 (PubMed Central)
  32. Anti-biofouling Sulfobetaine Polymer Thin Films on Silicon and Silicon Nanopore Membranes. Li L, Marchant RE, Dubnisheva A, Roy S, Fissell WH (2011) J Biomater Sci Polym Ed 22(1-3): 91-106
    › Primary publication · 20546677 (PubMed)
  33. Characterizing the surface charge of synthetic nanomembranes by the streaming potential method. Datta S, Conlisk AT, Kanani DM, Zydney AL, Fissell WH, Roy S (2010) J Colloid Interface Sci 348(1): 85-95
    › Primary publication · 20462592 (PubMed) · PMC2900191 (PubMed Central)
  34. Silicon induces minimal thromboinflammatory response during 28-day intravascular implant testing. Melvin ME, Fissell WH, Roy S, Brown DL (2010) ASAIO J 56(4): 344-8
    › Primary publication · 20431483 (PubMed) · PMC4476785 (PubMed Central)
  35. Permeability - Selectivity Analysis for Ultrafiltration: Effect of Pore Geometry. Kanani DM, Fissell WH, Roy S, Dubnisheva A, Fleischman A, Zydney AL (2010) J Memb Sci 349(1-2): 405
    › Primary publication · 20161691 (PubMed) · PMC2821117 (PubMed Central)
  36. High-Performance Silicon Nanopore Hemofiltration Membranes. Fissell WH, Dubnisheva A, Eldridge AN, Fleischman AJ, Zydney AL, Roy S (2009) J Memb Sci 326(1): 58-63
    › Primary publication · 20054402 (PubMed) · PMC2607036 (PubMed Central)
  37. The implantable artificial kidney. Fissell WH, Roy S (2009) Semin Dial 22(6): 665-70
    › Primary publication · 20017839 (PubMed)
  38. Cleveland Clinic workshop on innovation in treatment of uremia: an introduction to the proceedings. Fissell WH (2009) Semin Dial 22(6): 597
    › Primary publication · 20017827 (PubMed)
  39. Middle-molecule clearance at 20 and 35 ml/kg/h in continuous venovenous hemodiafiltration. Hofmann CL, Fissell WH (2010) Blood Purif 29(3): 259-63
    › Primary publication · 20016150 (PubMed)
  40. Size and conformation of Ficoll as determined by size-exclusion chromatography followed by multiangle light scattering. Fissell WH, Hofmann CL, Smith R, Chen MH (2010) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 298(1): F205-8
    › Primary publication · 19846572 (PubMed) · PMC2806116 (PubMed Central)
  41. New insights into mechanisms of glomerular permselectivity. Fissell WH, Humes HD (2009) Minerva Urol Nefrol 61(4): 397-410
    › Primary publication · 19816392 (PubMed)
  42. Solute partitioning and filtration by extracellular matrices. Fissell WH, Hofmann CL, Ferrell N, Schnell L, Dubnisheva A, Zydney AL, Yurchenco PD, Roy S (2009) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 297(4): F1092-100
    › Primary publication · 19587146 (PubMed) · PMC2775571 (PubMed Central)
  43. Middle-molecule clearance in CRRT: in vitro convection, diffusion and dialyzer area. Messer J, Mulcahy B, Fissell WH (2009) ASAIO J 55(3): 224-6
    › Primary publication · 19282753 (PubMed)
  44. Biomolecular transport through hemofiltration membranes. Conlisk AT, Datta S, Fissell WH, Roy S (2009) Ann Biomed Eng 37(4): 722-36
    › Primary publication · 19184436 (PubMed) · PMC2818807 (PubMed Central)
  45. Development of continuous implantable renal replacement: past and future. Fissell WH, Fleischman AJ, Humes HD, Roy S (2007) Transl Res 150(6): 327-36
    › Primary publication · 18022594 (PubMed)
  46. Ficoll is not a rigid sphere. Fissell WH, Manley S, Dubnisheva A, Glass J, Magistrelli J, Eldridge AN, Fleischman AJ, Zydney AL, Roy S (2007) Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 293(4): F1209-13
    › Primary publication · 17652374 (PubMed)
  47. Dialysis and nanotechnology: now, 10 years, or never? Fissell WH, Humes HD, Fleischman AJ, Roy S (2007) Blood Purif 25(1): 12-7
    › Primary publication · 17170531 (PubMed)
  48. Differentiated growth of human renal tubule cells on thin-film and nanostructured materials. Fissell WH, Manley S, Westover A, Humes HD, Fleischman AJ, Roy S (2006) ASAIO J 52(3): 221-7
    › Primary publication · 16760708 (PubMed)
  49. The future of hemodialysis membranes. Humes HD, Fissell WH, Tiranathanagul K (2006) Kidney Int 69(7): 1115-9
    › Primary publication · 16609679 (PubMed)
  50. Electrochemical detection and characterization of proteins. Smiechowski MF, Lvovich VF, Roy S, Fleischman A, Fissell WH, Riga AT (2006) Biosens Bioelectron 22(5): 670-7
    › Primary publication · 16580835 (PubMed)
  51. Developments towards an artificial kidney. Fissell WH (2006) Expert Rev Med Devices 3(2): 155-65
    › Primary publication · 16515382 (PubMed)
  52. Renal cell therapy in the treatment of patients with acute and chronic renal failure. Humes HD, Weitzel WF, Fissell WH (2004) Blood Purif 22(1): 60-72
    › Primary publication · 14732813 (PubMed)
  53. Cell therapy of renal failure. Fissell WH, Humes HD (2003) Transplant Proc 35(8): 2837-42
    › Primary publication · 14697917 (PubMed)
  54. Cell therapy with a tissue-engineered kidney reduces the multiple-organ consequences of septic shock. Humes HD, Buffington DA, Lou L, Abrishami S, Wang M, Xia J, Fissell WH (2003) Crit Care Med 31(10): 2421-8
    › Primary publication · 14530746 (PubMed)
  55. Bioartificial kidney ameliorates gram-negative bacteria-induced septic shock in uremic animals. Fissell WH, Lou L, Abrishami S, Buffington DA, Humes HD (2003) J Am Soc Nephrol 14(2): 454-61
    › Primary publication · 12538747 (PubMed)
  56. The bioartificial kidney in the treatment of acute renal failure. Humes HD, Fissell WH, Weitzel WF (2002) Kidney Int Suppl (80): 121-5
    › Primary publication · 11982826 (PubMed)
  57. Metabolic replacement of kidney function in uremic animals with a bioartificial kidney containing human cells. Humes HD, Fissell WH, Weitzel WF, Buffington DA, Westover AJ, MacKay SM, Gutierrez JM (2002) Am J Kidney Dis 39(5): 1078-87
    › Primary publication · 11979353 (PubMed)
  58. Bioartificial kidney alters cytokine response and hemodynamics in endotoxin-challenged uremic animals. Fissell WH, Dyke DB, Weitzel WF, Buffington DA, Westover AJ, MacKay SM, Gutierrez JM, Humes HD (2002) Blood Purif 20(1): 55-60
    › Primary publication · 11803160 (PubMed)
  59. The role of a bioengineered artificial kidney in renal failure. Fissell WH, Kimball J, MacKay SM, Funke A, Humes HD (2001) Ann N Y Acad Sci : 284-95
    › Primary publication · 11797678 (PubMed)
  60. Hydroxyurea-induced hepatitis in human immunodeficiency virus-positive patients. Weissman SB, Sinclair GI, Green CL, Fissell WH (1999) Clin Infect Dis 29(1): 223-4
    › Primary publication · 10433603 (PubMed)