Applied mathematicians using computational models to understand effects of pregnancy on kidneys

Monday, January 24, 2022

Pregnant womanReserchers in applied mathematics have developed models to better understand what happens to a woman’s kidneys during pregnancy.

The research team includes Anita Layton, professor of applied mathematics and Canada 150 Research Chair in mathematical biology and medicine, and Melissa Stada, a master’s researcher in applied mathematics.

The team used computational models representing kidney function during mid-and late pregnancy. These in-silico experiments, so-called because they are essentially conducted in the silicon of computer chips, provide a way to simulate different kinds of strain on the kidneys that would otherwise not be possible to test in live pregnancies without substantial risk.

While computational models of organs like the kidneys are only ever approximations of what may happen in a specific individual case, they are a safe, cost-effective and timely way to conduct trials, not just of the various impacts pregnancy may have on the kidneys, but also of potential treatments and medications.

Read more in the feature article in Waterloo News.

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