National institutes of health supports nanoparticle research tohelp in fight against kidney disease

Posted: Jun 8th, 2012 National Institutes of Health supports nanoparticle research tohelp in fight against kidney disease ( Nanowerk News ) Research led by an Arizona State University biomedical engineerand physicist to find more effective ways of detecting the onset ofkidney disease is getting support from the National Institutes ofHealth. The NIH has awarded $400,000 to Kevin Bennett, an assistantprofessor of the School of Biological and Health SystemsEngineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. The grant will support his team’s research focusing on a commonform of kidney disease called nephritis.

“A significant portion of the diabetic population and others willdevelop kidney disease. The earlier we can detect it, the morelikely it is that we can effectively treat it,” Bennett says. The current method of identifying kidney disease is to perform abiopsy, which can be painful for patients and prone to errors.Bennett is working on a method using magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) technology that involves magnetic particles. His team has engineered magnetic nanoparticles that stick to theglomerulus, a part of the kidney that is attached to the nephron.The nephron is a part of the kidney that regulates the level ofwater and soluble substances in the blood. By doing an MRI scan on a kidney onto which magnetic nanoparticleshave been bound, it creates a visible distortion in the image thatenables researchers to extract information about the nephron.

The distortions in such images enable nephrons to be accuratelylocated, their size can be determined and changes in their behaviorcan be revealed. “If we can detect changes in nephron functionearly, patients can be treated earlier and with better results,”Bennett says. Another application of the research is in examination of therelationship between the number of nephrons and the risk ofcardiovascular and kidney diseases in humans, which is currentlydone by taking sections of body tissue. Researchers are also looking at how nanoparticle uptake in thekidneys is affected by diabetes and the strain nanoparticle uptakeputs on the kidneys. “We are doing this with noninvasive imaging. Water Playground Equipment

We are developing waysto detect all of this without having to do biopsies or collect bodytissue,” Bennett explains. Bennett’s team includes: professor Teresa Wu, an industrialengineer and an associate professor in the School of Computing,Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering in the Ira A. FultonSchools of Engineering; Min Zhang, a doctoral student working underWu; professor John Bertam, head of Anatomy and DevelopmentalBiology at Monash University in Australia; and Scott Beeman, abiomedical engineering doctoral student working in Bennett’slaboratory. Beeman has taken a lead role in the kidney research project andrecently presented a progress report at a meeting of theInternational Society for Magnetic Resonance Medicine in Melbourne,Australia. China Spray Park Equipment

“It’s rare that a Ph.D. student can push a whole field of researchforward, but that’s what Scott has done,” Bennett says. The team is already in the preclinical stage of research. “We aremoving the technique to clinical trials, and we have alreadydeveloped better nanoparticles and more sensitive ways to detectthem.” The next step will be working with human donor kidneys. China Fiberglass Water Slides

The research is being performed at the Center for PreclinicalImaging, established through a collaboration between the Ira A.Fulton Schools of Engineering and the Barrow Neurological Instituteat St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.

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