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Sci Rep. 2018 Sep 13;8(1):13731. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-31890-9.

Geobiology reveals how human kidney stones dissolve in vivo.

Author information

1
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. sivaguru@illinois.edu.
2
Carl Zeiss Labs@Location Partner, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. sivaguru@illinois.edu.
3
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. jsaw2@illinois.edu.
4
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. jsaw2@illinois.edu.
5
Mayo Clinic School of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA. jsaw2@illinois.edu.
6
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
7
Division of Nephrology and Hypertension, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
8
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
9
Department of Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
10
Department of Urology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
11
Department of Physiology & Biomedical Engineering, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
12
Department of Individualized Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
13
Department of Pediatric Nephrology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN, USA.
14
Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, USA.
15
Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine, Maywood, IL, USA.
16
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
17
Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
18
Carl Zeiss Labs@Location Partner, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
19
Department of Geosciences, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, 11794, USA.
20
Protein Sciences, Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
21
Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA.
22
Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. fouke@illinois.edu.
23
Carl Zeiss Labs@Location Partner, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. fouke@illinois.edu.
24
Department of Geology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. fouke@illinois.edu.
25
Department of Microbiology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. fouke@illinois.edu.
26
Roy J. Carver Biotechnology Center, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL, USA. fouke@illinois.edu.

Abstract

More than 10% of the global human population is now afflicted with kidney stones, which are commonly associated with other significant health problems including diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Nearly 70% of these stones are primarily composed of calcium oxalate, a mineral previously assumed to be effectively insoluble within the kidney. This has limited currently available treatment options to painful passage and/or invasive surgical procedures. We analyze kidney stone thin sections with a combination of optical techniques, which include bright field, polarization, confocal and super-resolution nanometer-scale auto-fluorescence microscopy. Here we demonstrate using interdisciplinary geology and biology (geobiology) approaches that calcium oxalate stones undergo multiple events of dissolution as they crystallize and grow within the kidney. These observations open a fundamentally new paradigm for clinical approaches that include in vivo stone dissolution and identify high-frequency layering of organic matter and minerals as a template for biomineralization in natural and engineered settings.

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