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Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples as a Model of Kidney Function

Jennifer Baker
Product Manager, Anatomy and Physiology

June 2017


Objective 

In this activity, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of normal and abnormal urine composition
  • Apply knowledge to develop a model of a urine sample that may or may not indicate disease
  • Test models of urine samples
  • Apply knowledge of normal versus abnormal urine to determine diagnoses on unknown samples


Essential question

How is urinalysis used in a health care setting?

Kidneys filter waste products from our blood. Normal urine contains approximately 95% water, nitrogen compounds (including urea, ammonia, and uric acid), salts, small amounts of protein, and glucose.

Abnormal urine composition often indicates disease or infection. Diabetes is often diagnosed after a patient has a positive test for glucose in the urine. Diabetes is the result of an inability to absorb glucose from the blood. The body compensates for these elevated blood glucose levels by filtering the glucose out through the kidneys; the excess glucose exits the body through the urine.

When urine tests positive for protein, kidney damage could be to blame. If the kidneys are damaged by high blood pressure, diabetes, or some types of medication, they begin to break down. The breakdown of the tissue within the kidney results in protein being excreted through the urine.

Urine that is outside the normal pH range can be an indicator of disease or infection. If urine is more acidic than normal, it could be the result of respiratory problems, dehydration, or starvation. Urine that is more alkaline than normal can indicate kidney disease or urinary tract infection.

Ketones can be found in the urine as well. Ketones in a urine sample are the result of the breakdown of fat in the body when glucose is not present. Often, the presence of ketones in the urine are a symptom associated with diabetes and can be an indication of a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Urinalysis is a test that analyzes the composition of urine. A urine sample can be collected in a sterile container or a nonsterile container, depending upon the tests being completed. Often, test strips are used to test whether common components are present within a normal range. Glucose, proteins, red or white blood cells, ketones, and pH are a few of the components tested for through urinalysis and the presence of each in varying quantities can help professionals diagnose patients with health concerns.


Materials (per group)

Water
25 Specimen Cups (with caps)
25 Stirring Rods
Table Salt
Glucose Solution
Albumin Powder
Ketone Powder
Ammonia
Acetic Acid
Yellow Food Coloring
Four-Factor Urinary Test Strips


Procedure

Students will work in 5 groups. Students should familiarize themselves with the information about the common urinalysis results and the diseases that are indicated. Each group will develop a different urine sample.
Write the names of the samples being tested on note cards:

  • Normal urine
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Kidney damage

Have students select one notecard per group and keep their sample a secret. Each group will test all 5 samples and make diagnoses of the unknown samples.

Each group will randomly select a sample and decide what materials are needed to prepare a sample that tests positive for the designated indicator. Allow students an opportunity to plan their procedure for developing an appropriate urine sample. They should design 3 to 5 different formulations for their sample and have those formulations approved by the instructor. (Be sure to verify that they are using appropriate ingredients and quantities.)

After approval of their formulations, students should work in their groups to prepare the samples. They should test each of their formulations to ensure that the proper results are obtained from the simulated urine sample. When an appropriate formulation is found, students will label the specimen cups:

  • Sample A for diabetes
  • Sample B for diabetic ketoacidosis
  • Sample C for normal urine
  • Sample D for urinary tract infection
  • Sample E for kidney damage

Students should then test each of the 5 class samples (A to E) and determine whether the urine sample is normal or abnormal. Using the background information and the results of their urinalysis, students will determine which disease or disorder may be indicated.

 

 

 

 

Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples as a Model of Kidney Function

Student Guide


Essential question

How is urinalysis used in a healthcare setting?


Objective

In this activity, you will:

  • Gain an understanding of normal and abnormal urine composition
  • Apply knowledge to develop a model of a urine sample that may or may not indicate disease
  • Test models of urine samples
  • Apply knowledge of normal versus abnormal urine to determine diagnoses on unknown samples


Background

Kidneys filter waste products from our blood. Normal urine contains approximately 95% water, nitrogen compounds (including urea, ammonia, and uric acid), salts, small amounts of protein, and glucose.

Abnormal urine composition often indicates disease or infection. Diabetes is often diagnosed after a patient has a positive test for glucose in the urine. Diabetes is the result of an inability to absorb glucose from the blood. The body compensates for these elevated blood glucose levels by filtering the glucose out through the kidneys; the excess glucose exits the body through the urine.

When urine tests positive for protein, kidney damage could be to blame. If the kidneys are damaged by high blood pressure, diabetes, or some types of medication, they begin to break down. The breakdown of the tissue within the kidney results in protein being excreted through the urine.

Urine that is outside the normal pH range can be an indicator of disease or infection. If urine is more acidic than normal, it could be the result of respiratory problems, dehydration, or starvation. Urine that is more alkaline than normal can indicate kidney disease or urinary tract infection.

Ketones can be found in the urine as well. Ketones in a urine sample are the result of the breakdown of fat in the body when glucose is not present. Often, the presence of ketones in the urine are a symptom associated with diabetes and can be an indication of a life-threatening condition called diabetic ketoacidosis.

Urinalysis is a test that analyzes the composition of urine. A urine sample can be collected in a sterile container or a nonsterile container, depending upon the tests being completed. Often, test strips are used to determine whether typical components are present within a normal range. Glucose, proteins, red or white blood cells, ketones, and pH are a few of the components tested for through urinalysis, and the presence of each in varying quantities can help professionals diagnose patients with health concerns.


Materials (per group)

Specimen Cups (with caps), 5
Stirring Rods, 5
Four-Factor Urinary Test Strips, 12

Shared materials

Water
Table Salt
Glucose Solution
Albumin Powder
Ketone Powder
Ammonia
Acetic Acid
Yellow Food Coloring


Procedure

  1. You will work in groups to develop a solution that simulates urine. Each group will randomly select a “sample” card from your instructor. Record your sample on the handout.
  2. Your sample card indicates the type of simulated urine your group will need to formulate. At the end of the activity, each group will test the samples created by the other groups and determine which sample came from a list of 5 patient scenarios. As a group, spend 10 to 15 minutes reviewing the background information. Use the materials list to create a recipe for the simulated urine your group is responsible for developing. You should design 5 different formulations to ensure that you get the proper test results.
  3. Record the recipes you have developed on the handout. Be sure to include quantities. Have your recipes approved by your instructor.
  4. Prepare your samples in the cups provided. Be sure to mix the ingredients in each sample thoroughly to ensure accurate testing.
  5. Use a urinalysis test strip to test your first solution. Read the results and record them in the table labeled “Sample Formulations.”
  6. Use a new strip to test each of the remaining simulated urine solutions and record the results in the table labeled “Sample Formulations.”
  7. As a group, determine which sample formulation provided the desired result for the assigned simulated urine sample.
  8. Label the specimen cup with your best formulation with the sample letter (Sample ___) you randomly selected from your instructor.
  9. As a group, use new test strips to test each of the samples, A to E. Record the results in the table for urine samples.
  10. Discuss the results with your group and use the background information provided to determine which of the diseases or disorders each sample indicates.

Name: __________________________

Developing and Analyzing Urine Samples: Student Handout

Sample selected: ____________________________________________

Proposed simulated urine sample formulations

Record the recipes for your simulated urine samples.


Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

Sample 4

Sample 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sample formulations

Record any observations and the results shown on this urinalysis test strip.


Sample

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

Sample 4

Sample 5

Color

 

 

 

 

 

Ketones present?

 

 

 

 

 

pH

 

 

 

 

 

Glucose present?

 

 

 

 

 

Protein present?

 

 

 

 

 


Urine samples

Test each of the 5 samples in your class (the sample your group developed, as well as the samples developed by the other groups). Record any observations and the results shown on this urinalysis test strip.


Sample

Sample A

Sample B

Sample C

Sample D

Sample E

Color

 

 

 

 

 

Ketones present?

 

 

 

 

 

pH

 

 

 

 

 

Glucose present?

 

 

 

 

 

Protein present?

 

 

 

 

 

Disease indicated

 

 

 

 

 

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