(477a) Macromolecular Modulation of Calcium Oxalate Nucleation and Growth
The crystal nucleation, growth, and agglomeration in solution is strongly influenced by the presence of soluble molecules in minute quantities. In this work, we study the crystallization kinetics of calcium oxalate, the major constituent of kidney stones, by employing a constant composition potentiostatic technique. We evaluate the effects of supersaturation, temperature, and additives on the nucleation and growth of calcium oxalate in aqueous solutions. We have demonstrated that certain anionic polyelectrolytes can be very effective toward kidney stone inhibition by reducing the growth rate, altering the crystal morphology, and favoring the formation of metastable forms due to adsorption on active growth sites. We compare our results to citrate, a naturally occurring inhibitor in the urinary system and currently the standard pharmacological treatment for stones. Our findings offer a better understanding of the calcium oxalate crystallization kinetics and provide information on the viability of synthetic polymers as potential calcium oxalate stone therapies.