There is a similar shortage of kidney donors in the country and the world. There is doubt about the quality of the kidney that is available for transplant. To overcome this problem, researchers have developed a new method, by which the quality of kidney can be known before transplant. This will help increase the number of usable donor kidneys. The study is published in the journal Optics Express.
Mingxing Sui, affiliated with Changhai Hospital in Shanghai, China, who led the research team, said there is currently no way to accurately assess donor kidney injury. If this is possible, the outcome of the transplant can be predicted and the risk of rejection in transplant patients can be reduced. That's why we wanted to find a new way to determine the quality of the donor kidney without any operation (non-invasively).
Researchers have, for the first time, used surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) to simultaneously detect two susceptible kidney injury biomarkers. He also pointed out that SERS made spectroscopy more practical for clinical use.
Quality can be assessed
Sui explained that this is a very sensitive SERS-based multiplexing technique, which reveals even the smallest changes in the expression of biomarkers associated with injury to the donor kidney. This allows the donor kidney to be evaluated for its quality for clinical use.
When the kidney of a deceased person is donated, a biopsy is done to check the health of the kidney. Not only is this procedure invasive (through the hole) more time consuming, it can also damage many donor kidneys. The research also revealed that the findings of a biopsy may not always predict how well the kidney will function after a transplant.
Recently researchers have identified leukocyte peptidase inhibitor (SLPI) and interleukin 18 (IL-18) secreted in blood and urine as biomarkers. It can be used for targeted evaluation of kidney injury.
Although several methods have been tried for the identification of these biomarkers, they all have limited sensitivity, lack of multiplexing, complexity of sample preparation or high cost.
Sui's research team wanted to find out whether SERS might be a better way to identify these biomarkers. With this new vibrational spectroscopy technique, single molecule sensitivity can be easily detected and multiple biomarkers can be identified in a single experiment.
What's special about the new method
In this, Raman scattering is enhanced using nanostructures. This occurs when molecules are absorbed onto a metal surface. This scattering produces a kind of spectral fingerprint, unique to each molecule.
However, for SERS to be taken out of the laboratory for clinical use, it needed to improve its sensitivity and also to simplify its production.
The researchers met this need with a new hybrid SERS substrate, which combines gold nanomolecules with a new 2D nanomaterial called black phosphorus.