Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a condition associated with progressive loss of renal function. Diagnosis is based on the creatinine levels in blood plasma as well as the presence of proteins in urine. Accumulating evidence indicates that CKD is linked to low kidney tissue oxygen levels. However, the mechanisms underlying oxygen regulation in the kidney remain elusive as it has not been possible to measure kidney oxygen levels in vivo. The EU-funded RETEBESKO (Rechargeable telemetry-based electrochemical sensors: kidney oxygenation and health) study aimed to develop a telemetry-based solution for measurement of oxygen levels in the kidney. The project involved collaboration with the University of Auckland, a leader in biomedical engineering for the development and testing of telemetry devices. A first, researchers developed and validated wireless technology for measurement of kidney tissue oxygen in unrestrained rats. The oxygen telemetry technology tracks changes in oxygen levels throughout the kidney and allows continuous measurement of oxygen for at least three months. Experiments were performed in healthy rodents before proceeding to specific kidney disease models. Renal oxygen was continuously recorded with and without therapy to confirm disturbed oxygen homeostasis and to evaluate treatment efficacy. Results of these validation studies have been presented in three publications in peer-reviewed journals. The developed telemetry-based technology is capable of monitoring deep tissue oxygen levels. This device allows scientists to unravel the fundamental regulatory mechanisms implicated in kidney tissue oxygenation. By understanding this regulation, it will be possible to design novel treatment modalities and improve the clinical outcome of CKD patients.
Oxygen sensor, chronic kidney disease, RETEBESKO, electrochemical sensor, telemetry