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Lung fluid samples contribute to story of COVID-19

November 12, 2020

Person with mask

Supercomputing analysis of cellular gene expression data from COVID-19 patients’ lung fluid samples suggests potential new paths of investigation into treating the disease. The recent work at Oak Ridge National Laboratory yielded what’s now known as the bradykinin hypothesis – essentially that COVID-19 is a vascular disease and that drugs already approved by the FDA might someday help treat it.

Bradykinin is a peptide involved in blood pressure regulation, and “bradykinin storms” could be involved in COVID-19 suffering: “The flood of bradykinin makes blood vessels prone to leakage, which means blood can spill into the lungs,” Forbes reported. That fluid migration can contribute to the development of a thick substance that hinders breathing.

“That’s going to look like a gelatin building up in the alveoli in your lungs,” Daniel Jacobson, a computational systems biologist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory told Forbes. “It doesn’t matter how much oxygen you pump in there. You can’t exchange CO2 for O2 through Jell-O.”

This is just one example of recent coronavirus-related research involving human biospecimens and the data that comes from them. We’ve blogged about several such projects on this site, including:

Lung fluid samples, such as those used in the supercomputing analysis, are available from iSpecimen through custom collections. As long as the disease is with us, we’ll keep supporting researchers like these in their pursuit of treatments, vaccines and cures.

Learn about the iSpecimen Marketplace where you can browse millions of richly annotated, de-identified human tissue and biofluid biospecimens, in addition to hematopoietic and immune cell products and COVID-19 samples. You can join for free and creating a login is easy. Request a quote or custom collection today.