Phospho-Dx - A Point-of-Care Phosphorus Diagnostic System for Chronic Kidney Disease Patient Safety

Project number: 
Kidney ADVANCE Project - NIH/ACABI
Academic year: 
Requirements: 1. Phosphorus Detection - Develop a system to capture images of food and fluid and estimate phosphorus content based on food volume or weight. 2. Develop a lookup table - i.e. a smart evolving reference engine of phosphorus content based on active learning from the web. 3. Probe - In parallel design and build a probe that can be directly placed into food or fluid to measure phosphors content (in mg. or meq/unit weight). 4. GUI/App - Develop a graphic user interface to have easy readout of both estimated P content as well as measured content. Will also keep a log of total P intake per day and have readout. 5. Will be able to telemeter info to health providers
Skills Necessary:, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Programming, Machine Learning, AI

Project Background/Scope: Phosphorus is an essential element vital for bone mineralization and health, cell membrane function, energy transport and delivery, and DNA and RNA structure – pretty much every human physiologic function!! The Kidney is the critical organ involved in regulating phosphorus levels in the body. Unfortunately, as patients develop progressive kidney disease – i.e. chronic kidney disease (CKD) or end-stage renal disease (ESRD), their ability to regulate phosphorus levels in the body is progressively and dramatically reduced. These patients run the risk of developing significant phosphorus excess which can lead to muscle cramps or spasms, numbness and tingling around the mouth, bone and joint pain, bone fragility/weakness, skin rashes, and in severe excess altered mental status, delirium, seizures, coma and death.

The primary source of phosphorus in the body stems from ingested intake. Foods rich in phosphorus include those with high protein content, diary products with a higher level of phosphates/gram of protein, as well as many additives commonly added to baked goods and processed foods. The level of phosphorus in the blood needs to maintained between 2.5 to 4.5 mg/dL. For patients with CKD and ESRD determining the intake of phosphorus is vital. Unfortunately, today this is only guessed at by understanding food content from charts and other references. A means of rapidly and accurately estimating phosphorus content from food and fluid, as well as a device to rapidly directly measure phosphorus will be of great value for chronic kidney disease patients enhancing quality of life and ensuring their safety!

Important Facts: Chronic kidney disease causes more deaths than breast cancer or prostate cancer in the U.S. It is the under-recognized public health crisis. Kidney disease affects an estimated 37 million people in the U.S. (15% of the adult population; more than 1 in 7 adults). Approximately 90% of those with kidney disease don't know they have it! 1 in 3 adults in the U.S. (approximately 80 million) is at risk for kidney disease. Kidney disease is more common in women (14%) than men (12%). But for every 2 women who develop end-stage kidney disease (ESKD), 3 men's kidneys fail. Kidney disease is a leading cause of death in the U.S. and sadly is on the rise. A healthy adult can safely consume up to 4,000 mg/day of phosphorus though practically should aim to consume between 800 mg and 1,200 mg of phosphorus daily. People with moderate to severe chronic kidney disease, defined as kidney function (i.e. glomerular filtration rate, or "GFR") below 45 mL/min (normal is 100 to 120 mL/min), should consume < 800 mg of phosphorus per day.

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