Glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is considered the best parameter for the assessment of renal function, being usually determined on the basis of urine or plasma clearance of exogenous renal markers. The common methodology is invasive, time consuming and cumbersome, with multiple blood and/or urine sampling and following laboratory assays required. The method detailed here allows to transcutaneously determine the renal function in awake animals, in a non-invasive and efficient manner by using an electronic device which detects the fluorescence emitted through the skin from the renal marker FITC-Sinistrin. A crucial target has been to improve the fixation of the device, which is dependent on the skin structure. For validation, the technique has been compared with the classical clearance method, and its robustness has been demonstrated in healthy and diseased murine models. Moreover, the method allows sequential measurements in the same individual. Thus progression and recovery of renal failure can be followed. Therefore, its future application in humans would allow an accurate and appropriate prediction and monitoring of patients with established kidney disease over time. Furthermore, it will be possible to observe those patients under other pathological conditions with associated risk of developing renal problems.
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