(184d) Mathematical Modeling of Podocytes in Diabetic Kidney Disease
which is the leading cause of kidney failure. Despite the impact of this disease, the intricate
details of how diabetes progresses to DKD are not well understood. Diabetes is characterized by
elevated levels of glucose in the blood. The kidney is the main filtration unit of the body; as
such any, severe adjustments to concentrations in the blood can affect kidney function.
Filtration within the kidney occurs in the fundamental filtration units of the kidney; each of the
thousands of filtration units is called a glomerulus. The death of podocyte cells that constitute
the outer layer of a glomerulus begins a chain reaction of failure that ultimately leads to
dysfunction of the kidney altogether. Due to the significant role of podocytes in the onset and
progression of DKD, I have investigated the types of podocyte damage induced by diabetes that
lead to such failures. The key question is how chemicals within the kidney alter podocyte
function leading to DKD. I have utilized mathematical modeling to address this question by
formulating equations based on published data to test hypothesized mechanisms of the
connections between different factors that affect the health of podocyte cells.