Probes track changes in biological processes at molecular level. (Credit: Nanyang Technical University)

Researchers have developed a type of imaging probe that allows for earlier detection of acute kidney failure, a rapidly developing condition that can be fatal. The new renal probes, which have been tested in mice, are injected into the bloodstream. They light up when they detect molecular changes caused by the onset of acute kidney failure.

When tested on mice models with drug-induced acute kidney failure, the probes detected the onset of the condition 1.5 days earlier than current molecular imaging procedures.

The probes are made up of three components: a part that reacts with the identified ROS, a luminescence signaling part that ensures the probe lights up upon this reaction, and a part that ensures that the probe passes through the kidneys instead of accumulating in the liver.

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