Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada developed a new computational model of the human kidney to replace previous computational models that are based on rodent kidneys.
This computational model enables researchers to better learn about the functions of the kidney, including how the organ regulates the body’s salt, potassium, and acid content and enables the study of disease mechanisms and medications that affect the kidney, such as diabetes, without harmful effects to humans or animals.
Understanding the function of the human kidney has been vastly improved by using computational studies to evaluate renal function at the single nephron level.
One major benefits of having a computational model of the human kidney is the ability to provide a platform for simulations to predict the effects of a new drug toxicity, or to explain the underlying mechanisms of observed effects.
The computational model can mimic the effects of the drug to see if it is harmful for the kidney, and if so, it provides insight into the site of damage.
Layton AT, Layton HE. A computational model of epithelial solute and water transport along a human nephron. PLoS Computational Biology. 2019;15. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1006108