EFFECT OF URINARY MACROMOLECULES ON CRYSTALLIZATION OF CALCIUM-OXALATE IN SYNTHETIC URINE SOLUTIONS
AdvisorRandolph, Alan D.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe effect that organic urinary macromolecules have on the crystallization of calcium oxalate from a synthetic urine-like solution was studied in a mixed suspension-mixed product removal (MSMPR) continuous crystallizer. Precipitation of calcium oxalate crystals occurs during the continuous passage of urine through the renal system (kidney, bladder and tubules). While in normal circumstances these crystals remain small in size and exit the system unimpeded, in the pathologic condition calcium oxalate crystals are observed to aggregate and grow beyond a critical size where there is a significant probability of being trapped inside the renal system, e.g., on the kidney wall or in the tubules. Once trapped, the crystals become a nidus for further solute deposition and aggregation, giving origin to a renal calculus or stone. It is shown that this process is significantly affected by the presence or absence of organic macromolecules that act as modifiers of crystal growth, nucleation, and aggregation. An ultrafiltration technique was used to fractionate urine specimens from normal (N) and stone-forming (SF) persons into organic compounds of different molecular weight. These compounds were then added to the MSMPR system to test their effect on calcium oxalate crystallization. Significant differences were found to exist between N and SF urines in the composition, molecular weight distribution, and total quantity of these organic macromolecular compounds. The fraction of macromolecules responsible for the major effects on calcium oxalate crystallization was isolated, and its effect on crystal growth and nucleation rates was quantified. The steady state driving force (supersaturation) in the MSMPR system was measured. Striking differences in supersaturation versus residence time behavior between N and SF macromolecules were observed. The experimental conditions under which calcium oxalate crystals agglomerate were identified. Evidence which supports agglomeration as a key mechanism in urinary stone formation is presented.
Degree ProgramGraduate College