Elisabeth Manville
Jun 13, 2012

ASU research to fight a common form of kidney disease gains support

Nanotechnology could be the key to understanding a common form of kidney disease. The work done by Arizona State University (ASU) researchers is receiving support from the National Institutes of Health. The current method for diagnosing the kidney disease nephritis is a painful biopsy. The research team at ASU has developed a noninvasive method involving magnetic nanoparticles that stick to the glomerulus, a part of the kidney that is attached to the part of the kidney that regulates the level of walter and soluble substances in the blood, called the nephron. By doing an MRI scan, the nanoparticles allow for a visible distortion that enables researchers to discover information about the nephron, such as its size and changes in behavior. “If we can detect changes in nephron function early, patients can be treated earlier and with better results,” Kevin Bennett, a biomedical engineer who is leading the research, said.