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Dr Chris R NealB.Sc.(Hons.,Lon.), Ph.D.(Bristol), HND, HNC

Chris Neal

Dr Chris R NealB.Sc.(Hons.,Lon.), Ph.D.(Bristol), HND, HNC

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Research interests

I am an Honorary Research Fellow in the Bristol Renal Labs in the Dorothy Hodgkin building at the University of Bristol.

My research interests lie in microvascular permeability and ultrastructure. My current research is focussed on the kidney glomerulus and glomerular filtration, this interest arose from a discovery made around the minute structure (ultrastructure) of the glomerulus. From this a whole new interrelationship between the podocyte cells and blood vessels on the urinary side of the glomerulus has to be considered which contradicts the currently held simple urodyamics of the glomerulus.

 

More recently in human glomeruli the blood vessels which supply and remove blood from the glomerulus have been shown to widen and appear to act as inlet and outlet manifolds. These vascular chambers scale with the size of glomeruli and are probably reduced or absent in the smaller glomeruli of children. The haemodynamic implications of malfunctioning vascular chambers and attendant distributor vessels downstream of the chambers is yet to be fully realised but may explain a lot of hypo- and hyperperfusion effects in diseased glomeruli.

 

I’m also interested in the endothelial glycocalyx (the material lining blood vessels which contributes to permeability). This has lead to the invention of the LaDy GAGa (Lanthanum Dysprosium GlycosAmino Glycan adhesion) technique which optimises the staining of lanthanides on glycocalyx using Dysprosium ions which are smaller than Lanthanum ions. Kenton Arkill and I used this technique to confirm spacing between glycocalyx fibrils, which is an important determinant of microvascular permeability.

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