NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new report says a Vanderbilt University Medical Center doctor has created an artificial kidney for transplants using plastic and cell phone technology.

WSMV reported Dr. William Fissell and doctors want to start clinical trials in the next year and begin performing life-saving transplants within a half-decade. Getting the project off the ground will cost an estimated $11 million.

Vanderbilt Health is accepting donations for the project here.

"With the severe shortage of donor kidneys, the vast majority of ESRD patients must rely on dialysis," Dr. Fissell previously told the American Association of Kidney Patients. "The bio-artificial kidney will provide these patients an alternative treatment that will free them from the tether of a dialysis machine and allow them to eat and drink freely."

Hundreds of thousands of Americans suffer from kidney disease. Many of them are on waiting lists for transplants.

Related: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player says he needs kidney transplant
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