Making maths count in kidney disease

IMB researchers are using maths to understand how kidneys form in embryos, and how this impacts kidney health in adults. 

Nephrons are the functional unit of the kidney, filtering the blood to reabsorb what is needed and excrete the rest as urine. 

Everyone is born with a different number of nephrons, from 200,000 to 2.5 million, and the fewer nephrons a person has, the more at risk they are of renal disease. 

Our researchers analysed more than 100 healthy and diseased mouse kidneys using high resolution 3D imaging, and built mathematical models that showed how healthy kidneys develop, and what goes wrong in disease. 

Now that we have a better understanding of kidney development, we can find ways to manipulate the process to replace damaged nephrons or encourage more nephrons to form. 

With your help, this cutting-edge research could find the molecules our mathematical models predict are driving kidney tree formation, with the goal of developing new treatments to prevent kidney disease and restore lost kidney function in patients.

Donate now to help us find much-needed answers to kidney disease