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Physiologic Research (BWH)

Director: Hollenberg, Norman K., MD, Ph.D.

Location: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Peter Bent Building, Department of Radiology, Physiologic Research Division, RA-126, 15 Francis Street, Boston, MA 02115


Our research group specializes in research related to the study of kidney function in various populations.

Assays for Study of Kidney Function
Our lab offers two renal function assays for measurement of renal plasma flow (RPF) and glomerular filtration rate (GFR) to analyze human kidney function.
• The RPF assay measures the clearance of para-aminohippurate (PAH)
• The GFR assay measures clearance of Inulin
• Sample pickup and storage is also available for study groups

Other Clinical Specialties
Our lab conducts clinical research with a specific focus on diabetes, hypertension, nephrology and the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) and cardiovascular disease. The assay services would be helpful to clinical researchers involved in these fields.

PAH plasma clearance provides accurate measure of RPF and requires placement of two IV’s in the patients arms—one in each arm. In one of these IV’s, PAH is infused at a rate dependent on the research participants current weight. The infusion continues for a period of time as specified in a study protocol. At certain specified time points, blood samples are obtained from the second IV. These blood samples are processed and the remaining sample is the plasma. This is retrieved by our lab and stored at 20°C until it is assayed. This process is the same for the Inulin assay for measurement of GFR. To measure Inulin clearance, plasma samples have to be hydrolyzed to a dialyzable product in a dilute hydrochloric acid solution without precipitating plasma proteins. Inulin clearance has become the standard method in determining GFR.

Certain study groups may wish to measure both RPF and GFR. In this circumstance, both PAH and Inulin can be infused together.

Research Experience
We have extensive experience in clinical research study design and sponsor funded research. If you have any questions about these topics please contact the personnel listed below.





  • Distillation Water Bath ( Water bath )

  • SEAL AutoAnalyzer 3 ( Chemistry analyzer )

    - Sampler IV (SN #035192)
    - High Resolution Digital Colorimeter (169+B600-01)
    - Pump (169+B205-01; SN #7542556)
    - Chemistry Module (177+B009-01)


  • Animal research ( Support service )

    The assays below can also be incorporated into animal research studies. Please contact us with any questions about how these two assays can be used in animal research protocols.

  • Glomerular Filtration Rate Assay ( Material analysis service )

    This assay is an accurate method of determining Inulin clearance in plasma. Inulin is an ideal substance for determining glomerular filtration rate since it is filtered by the glomerulus, is not absorbed or excreted by the tubules, is not metabolized, causes no known adverse reactions or toxic effects and can be measured by a simple chemical procedure.

  • Renal Plasma Flow Assay ( Material analysis service )

    This assay is an accurate method of determining plasma PAH levels in blood through determination of PAH excretion rate by measuring infusion rate. This method of measuring PAH plasma clearance provides a precise and accurate measure of renal plasma flow (RPF).


  • SEAL AACE 6.04 and 6.05 Software ( Software )

    AutoAnalyzer Control and Evaluation Software, AACE, is SEAL Analytical's Windows based software designed to run all SEAL Continuous Segmented Flow Analyzers. Designed by Scientists worldwide, AACE is written and supported by SEAL Analytical's team of programmers. Suitable for large and small systems, AACE makes analysis faster and easier. AACE is intuitive, very easy to learn and use.

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Last updated: 2017-08-21T16:22:10.954-04:00

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The eagle-i Consortium is supported by NIH Grant #5U24RR029825-02 / Copyright 2016