Sean Sun, INBT core faculty member and professor and vice-chair of mechanical engineering at the Whiting School of Engineering, was awarded funding from The Baltimore PKD Research and Clinical Core Center at the University of Maryland School of Medicine for their Pilot and Feasibility Program to study polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a common hereditary disorder affecting every 1 in 1,000 persons worldwide.
Top image: Ikbal Choudhury, 2nd year PhD student. Above image: Chodhury's organ-on-a-chip device.
PKD causes uncontrollable growth of fluid filled cysts, ultimately leading to kidney failure. However, the underlying disease mechanisms are unclear and no well-established medical treatments exists. The award will help Sun and Ikbal Choudhury, 2nd year PhD student, study fluid pumping mechanisms of kidney cells in the early stages of PKD. Choudhury created an organ-on-a-chip device that simulates fluid pumping in the same manner as specific kidney cells reabsorb important nutrients such as ions and water. This research could provide direct insights about the disease and therefore create more efficient treatment methods and a way to test new drugs.