Renal oxygenation: From data to insight

Bruce S. Gardiner, David W. Smith, Chang-Joon Lee, Jennifer P. Ngo, Roger G. Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Computational models have made a major contribution to the field of physiology. As the complexity of our understanding of biological systems expands, the need for computational methods only increases. But collaboration between experimental physiologists and computational modellers (ie theoretical physiologists) is not easy. One of the major challenges is to break down the barriers created by differences in vocabulary and approach between the two disciplines. In this review, we have two major aims. Firstly, we wish to contribute to the effort to break down these barriers and so encourage more interdisciplinary collaboration. So, we begin with a “primer” on the ways in which computational models can help us understand physiology and pathophysiology. Second, we aim to provide an update of recent efforts in one specific area of physiology, renal oxygenation. This work is shedding new light on the causes and consequences of renal hypoxia. But as importantly, computational modelling is providing direction for experimental physiologists working in the field of renal oxygenation by: (a) generating new hypotheses that can be tested in experimental studies, (b) allowing experiments that are technically unfeasible to be simulated in silico, or variables that cannot be measured experimentally to be estimated, and (c) providing a means by which the quality of experimental data can be assessed. Critically, based on our experience, we strongly believe that experimental and theoretical physiology should not be seen as separate exercises. Rather, they should be integrated to permit an iterative process between modelling and experimentation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13450
Number of pages19
JournalActa Physiologica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2020


  • acute kidney injury
  • chronic kidney disease
  • renal cortex
  • renal hypoxia
  • renal medulla
  • theoretical biology

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