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Dr. Chris Nguan

Associate Professor

Urologic Sciences

Faculty of Medicine

Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute

Current Research Focus

 Nguan holds fellowship certification in Kidney Transplantation and Advanced MIS/Robotics. Currently his research interests include investigation into improved donor management in organ transplantation with emphasis on improving preservation solution, storage and reperfusion outcomes. His other research arm involves technical development of image-guided surgery systems and robotic adjuncts. This work he performs in close collaboration with the Division of Electrical and Computer Engineering of Applied Sciences at UBC.

Example Project

“Development of an Ultrasound-Based Elastography System for Renal Transplantation” Lack of donor organs means that Canadians desiring a kidney transplant can expect to wait up to 10 years for surgery. By increasing the donor pool through careful selection and also improving the longevity of transplants already performed, we can reduce the burden on the waitlist and improve the health of all Canadians living with renal disease. The amount of fibrotic change in the kidney determines the "quality" of the organ prior to implant as well as predicts how long it will last following transplantation. Biopsy of the kidney can be performed, but typically does not give adequate information to help in deciding if kidneys can be used or not. Biopsies are also performed after transplantation to survey kidney transplants' ongoing health - the procedure itself is painful and can potentially lead to bleeding, infection or even loss of the graft. We propose the development of an easy to use, noninvasive ultrasound-based method of examining the kidney in order to determine kidney fibrosis, and eliminate the need for biopsy. Vibroelastography (VE) is a technique which examines the differential motion of structures through ultrasound, to determine the underlying tissues' relative stiffness. Kidneys have historically been found to be difficult to examine with VE due to their complex internal architecture, however we will refine the technology and perform a clinical study to compare VE results with conventional biopsy findings in kidney transplant patients. The findings from this work will provide doctors with the ability to improve both access to transplantation and lifespan of the kidney. 

Research Keywords

Donor Organ Preservation, Kidney Transplantation, Organ Perfusion, Organ Preservation Solution, Pharmacokinetics, Allograft Fibrosis, Elastography, Ultrasound