Skip to main content

Calcification Measurement

Development an Accurate Test for Determining the Calcification Risk in Dialysis Patients.

Fig. 1: Largely distributed calcification (below) compared with a healty mouse.

Contact person

Project description

Worldwide, over a 500 milion people suffer from a chronic renal disease, a condition in which kidneys gradually lose their ability to function normally. Those patients depend on a chronic renal replacement therapy, i.e. dialysis treatment. Due to therapeutic limitations, they often have an over saturation of the extra-cellular liquids with calcium and phosphate ions. This, in addition to the lack of calcification inhibitors, leads to the development of vascular, valve, and extra-osseous calcification associated with an increase in the morbidity and morality risk.

An optimum treatment of the patient, i.e. preventing and controlling the threatening calcification, is based on the accurate estimation of the calcification formation process, and the calcification inhibitor (e.g. Fetuin A) concentration in the blood. Currently, a laboratory test is available based on the quantification of radioactive 45Ca. The complex preparation steps and the required incubation period render the test as un-appropriate for clinical use. Therefore, a new simple test needs to be developed based on in-situ measurements of mineral formation kinetics.

Project goals

By an interdisciplinary collaboration of engineers and biologists such a test should be achieved based on electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) measurements. The method offers a non-destructive mean for examining and characterizing a number of chemical and physical processes which occur in solution as well as in solids. Using an impedance trace of the mineralization formation process, the calcification inhibition capacity in serum samples can be determined.

In the scope of the project , the following goals will be achieved:

  • Defining measurement and testing protocols
  • Development of an automatic measurement setup
  • Studying the effect of various factors in the measurement (e.g. measuring cell parameters, temperature)
  • Validating the test model by comparing with the available screening and radioactive assay methods

Project partners

  • Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Zell- und Molekularbiologie an Grenzfl├Ąchen, UK Aachen