Standardization and Optimization of Urinary Extracellular Vesicle Isolation by Modifying Hydration of a Healthy Cohort; The Role of Health-Insurers in Chronic Kidney Disease-Related Disparities

Luellen, Meghan, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Swiatecka-Urban, Agnieszka, MD-PEDT Nephrology, University of Virginia
Forelle, MC, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

The research in the technical report, "Standardization and Optimization of Urinary Extracellular Vesicle Isolation by Modifying Hydration of a Healthy Cohort," strives to develop a method that makes urinary extracellular vesicles (uEv) more accessible to researchers. Specifically, the goal is to standardize urine collection protocol by implementing a water-restriction period to optimize uEv size and yield. These membrane-bound structures contain transmembrane proteins indicative of the various stages of kidney injury. They serve a potentially critical role in chronic kidney disease, or in the inadequate filtration of waste product and excess water from the body for an extended period of time, as diagnostic tools and therapeutic agents. Once the disease state progresses to the end-stage, management by dialysis or transplantation can delay kidney failure, but there is no return to complete kidney function. Thus, early detection of chronic kidney disease is critical. Beyond the physical and lifestyle burdens associated with end-stage kidney disease, the cost of management is enormous. The sociotechnical research paper, "The Role of Health-Insurers in Chronic Kidney Disease-Related Disparities," strives to understand shortcomings in affordable preventative healthcare for vulnerable groups. Of those most greatly impacted by chronic kidney disease are minority and low socioeconomic groups. The paper investigates how several social determinants of health are inadequately accounted for by health insurers, exacerbating this disparity. Specifically, this research seeks to understand healthcare inequality in the hands of health-insurers due to lack of access to nutritious food, transportation, or facilities within the network. Overall, chronic kidney disease demands early detection and preventative healthcare to reduce the physical, psychological, and financial burden on those impacted, particularly vulnerable populations.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Chronic Kidney Disease, Urinary Extracellular Vesicles, Nanoparticle Tracking Analysis

Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering
Technical Advisor: Agnieszka Swiatecka-Urban
STS Advisor: MC Forelle

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