“My own experience of over 60 years in biomedical research amply demonstrated that without the use of… human beings, it would have been impossible to acquire the important knowledge needed to prevent much suffering and premature death… among humans.” – Albert Sabin
Albert Sabin, the medical researcher best known for developing the oral polio vaccine, highlights the importance of biomedical research in his quotation mentioned above.
This importance has not diminished with time. The opposite is true. With the arrival of new diseases caused by viral infections, cancers, and other conditions such as kidney disease, the only way to improve human life and help people combat these diseases is through biomedical research.
While the COVID-19 illness caused by the zoonosis, SARS-CoV-2, is not directly related to this discussion; it is a useful and relevant example of how scientific research plays a pivotal role in answering the questions asked by the virus as it continues to rampage its way through the world’s populations. Understanding the virus’s behavior, epidemiology, etiology, genotype, and phenotype will help medical professionals combat the disease, reduce the reproduction (or R) rate, and prevent people from dying. Biomedical research is also playing a primary role in the development of a vaccine.
What is biomedical research?
Biomedical research is defined as the “broad area of science that looks for ways to prevent and treat diseases that cause illness and death in people and in animals.”
Researchers utilize biotechnology techniques such as the use of human plasma samples to determine whether the study’s stated hypothesis is correct or not.
In essence, biomedical researchers or scientists study “biological processes and diseases with the ultimate goal of developing effective treatments and cures.”
Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD): The need for research is ongoing
While COVID-19 is a primary global concern and will be for the foreseeable future, let’s move away from this scenario and consider another disease that requires ongoing research, Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), including the use of human plasma samples in the testing phase of related research studies.
As an aside, CKD is a risk factor for COVID-19 morbidity. Thus, it makes even more sense to find ways to manage the disease and its progression, especially under the current circumstances.
The medical journal article titled “Kidney Disease: new technologies translate mechanisms to cure,” notes that kidney disease is one of the world’s “most prevalent conditions and is a frequent complication of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.”
The introduction to this study goes on to state that “recent advances in biomedical research and novel technologies have created opportunities to study kidney disease on a variety of platforms, applied to human populations.”
Statistics reported by the CDC estimate that over 20 million Americans have CDK, of which 40% of sufferers are over 65 years of age. Secondly, it is estimated that the global prevalence of CDK is more than 10% of the world’s population.
Clearly, something must be done to treat this scourge.
It is also perhaps interesting to be mindful that a recent uniform definition of the term “kidney disease” altered the medical industry’s perceptivity and outlook on CKD’s impact on human health. Before the publication of this definition, the only kidney disease that was considered a significant health issue was the type that required a kidney transplant.
Fortunately, through continued biomedical research studies and heightened exposure to the overarching meaning of the phrase “kidney disease,” much has changed for the better. Researchers and medical professionals are now working together to understand the archetype “Chronic Kidney Disease” and its impact on human health and quality of life, especially within the COVID-19 paradigm.
The relationship between blood plasma and kidney disease
Finally, the question that begs is, what is the relationship between blood plasma and kidney disease. In other words, why are in-vitro human blood plasma samples an imperative in the study of the various parts to the all-encompassing term, “chronic kidney disease?”
By way of answering this question, let’s consider the role that blood plasma plays in the human body, with particular reference to both kidneys.
The primary function of the human kidneys is to remove excess fluids and waste products from the body. A secondary role is to control the manufacture of red blood cells. Thus, in summary, it stands to reason that it is essential to take care of the kidneys, as with all other human organs, to ensure their optimal functioning.
The website, mcb.berkeley.edu reports that about 180 liters of fluids are filtered through the kidneys in a 24-hour period. The total blood plasma volume is only 3 liters, so it is filtered over 60 times a day.
Blood plasma, on the other hand, is an element of whole blood. Unfortunately, it is often the forgotten part of human blood. The other, more well-known elements are white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets.
Plasma is the largest part of human blood. It makes up more than 50% of the blood’s overall content. And its primary role is to transport hormones, nutrients, and proteins to the parts of the body that need it. During the process where cells interact with the blood plasma, receiving the nutrients, they also return waste products to the plasma, which is then carried to the kidneys where it is extracted and processed into urine.
Apart from the hormones, nutrients, and proteins, plasma also contains critical components, including clotting factors, antibodies, and albumin and fibrinogen.
Chronic Kidney Disease negatively impacts many different functions of the human body, especially the production of red blood cells and the ability to filter out waste products from the blood plasma. It is vital that the waste products, including toxins, are removed rapidly and efficiently.
Thus, it is reasonable to conclude that it is a severe problem when the kidneys are no longer able to filter out the waste and toxins from the human blood plasma. Thus, the need for in-vitro blood plasma samples as a mechanism to develop a greater insight into CKD as well as new treatments for CKD. Succinctly stated, it is vital for human health and well-being.
At Solomon Park, we would not be able to provide research studies with the necessary blood plasma samples without human blood donations. Please consider donating blood today by considering the requirements to donate whole blood, which is then spun out into its individual components, including serum, plasma, and platelets.
And, if you are a biomedical research study manager or researcher, we have the right blood plasma samples to help you answer the questions asked by the study’s hypothesis.