Student projects

Computational modeling of flow and solute transport in the nephrons of a kidney

The kidneys are vital organs that serve a number of essential regulatory roles, including removing metabolic wastes and toxins from the blood and excreting them through the urine. Through these regulatory mechanisms, the kidneys help maintain the body’s water balance, electrolyte balance, and acid-base balance. Thus it is important to have a better understanding about these mechanisms. Nephrons are basic functional units in the kidney and a human kidney has about a million nephrons.

This project aims at development of a computational model based on existing models for the solute transport and oxygen consumption along nephrons. The model would be formulated for steady state and will predict luminal flow, hydrostatic pressure, solute concentration, and reacting solutes conservation. An implementation of the benchmark test with baseline parameters would be conducted to verify and validate the model. The model will be developed in the C programming language and emphasis will be put on the computational efficiency of the code through optimization. A detailed parameters variation study will then be performed in order to understand the efficiency of solute transport and oxygen consumption along various segments of nephrons – for example by varying Single Nephron Glomerular Filtration Rates (SNGFR).


Student: Dongwei Ye, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Project type: Master thesis
Project start: February 2018
Project end: Juli 2018
Supervisor: Dr. Kartik Jain,

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