MRI-based techniques to measure renal morphology in diabetic human kidneys

Project: Research project

Project Details


The broad, long-term goal of this work is to measure kidney nephron endowment in diabetic humans, in vivo. Each nephron contains a glomerulus, which functions as a high-pressure filter of blood macromolecules. Deficits in nephrons and glomeruli are correlated with renal diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and hypertension. There is currently no noninvasive technique to count the total number of functioning renal glomeruli and nephrons in vivo, and to identify areas of nephritis at an early stage. Such a technique would enable studies of diabetic complications of the kidney in humans. We propose that contrast-enhanced MRI, using MRI-detectable nanoparticles targeted to the glomerular basement membrane, can be used to accurately count the total number of glomeruli in the whole, intact kidney. This proposal is focused on establishing this technique in healthy and diabetic human donor kidneys. We further propose to develop an automated image processing package to quantify diabetic renal morphology. Once completed, the proposed work will open the possibility of real-time, in vivo glomerular counts in studies of renal and systemic diseases in humans.
Effective start/end date10/1/129/30/13


  • HHS-NIH: National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK): $60,000.00


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