As a means of selectively removing pathogenic macromolecular substances, an affinity adsorbent or immunoadsorbent has been investigated in experimental and clinical studies on blood purification in the treatment of immune diseases. There are several affinity adsorbents currently available for clinical application. The authors developed physicochemical affinity adsorbents Immusorba IM-TR and IM-PH, whose experimental and clinical evaluations have been satisfactory in several immune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, myasthenia gravis, systemic lupus erythematosus and multiple sclerosis.
Absorptive cell separation, for leucocyte-free blood transfusion or for cytapheresis, has been developed using a leucocyte removal filter, whose container has fine, long fibers of polyester which are densely packed. The filters Sepacell and Cellsorba are used for erythrocyte transfusion and cytapheresis, respectively. In experimental and clinical trials, they provide efficient removal of leucocytes. Erythrocytes can be recovered virtually without loss. Clinical evaluation is now being conducted.
In conclusion, the above-mentioned new methods provide promising immunomodulations for the treatment and for the clearification of pathphysiology of immune diseases.