At the start of 2019 I was contacted by Bambi Gardiner from Oaka Books, a specialist publishing company that strives to produce unique, short and concise revision guides for visual learners who may struggle with reading, concentration or processing issues. The brief was to design 60 illustrations, including 5 cartoons, for their upcoming booklet called the 'Structures and Functions of the Kidneys' that were in keeping with their in-house vector style (including the background pink globe effect) that would ensure clarity in the delivery of the learning content for the students. This was a great opportunity for me as an illustrator already working with 'sciart' images about marine life to learn about these aspects of how the human body works, as well as to revisit vector style art working, something I have not worked with since starting the creation of my current ink art portfolio.
The results of this rather large commission can be seen below, presented as a grid of all 60 images that can also be viewed as a slideshow by clicking on any of them individually. I have included a caption for each based on the accompanying text that will feature in the booklet that will hopefully provide some explanation for each of them, viewed by hovering over each image. 
I have since received draft copies of the booklet in production from the publishing house, which is looking fantastic, and will add images of the final text book once I have a copy!
The urinary system
Size of an adult kidney
The kidneys remove toxic waste such as urea from the blood
Urea & excess water & salts filtered out
The bladder
Passing urine - the urethra
Kidney layers
Nephrons
Collecting ducts - where the body reabsorbs water
The ureter - branches into collecting ducts & then nephrons
Blood supply from the renal artery
The kidneys clean blood
If they don't work properly toxins build up in the body
Branching of renal artery into capillaries
Bowman's Capsule
The glomerus
Pressure in capillaries causes ultra filtration
Blood containing larger molecules & proteins leaves through the capillaries
The liquid forced out is called the filtrate
Selective reabsorption of useful things back into capillaries
The loop of henle
Glucose, salts & water selectively reabsorbed
The nephrons control how much water, sugar & salt the body loses
Changing the amount of water in the blood affects blood pressure
Sweating affects the amount of water in the blood
Diet - also affects water reabsorption
Anti-diuretic hormone helps regulate water reabsorption
The brain
ADH from the pituitary gland travels in the blood
Hypothalamus - controls the pituitary gland
The hypothalamus measure how much water is in the blood
Example of negative feedback
Sometimes kidneys don't work as they should - kidney disease. If they stop working it is called kidney failure
Testing urine can check if the kidneys are working properly
Urine should only contain waste products
Proteins and cells are too big to move into the nephrons - proteins in urine is a bad sign
The body wants to retain useful things
Too much glucose can signify diabetes
Diabetics can't control the amount of glucose in their blood
Too much glucose for the body to reabsorb can end up in urine
If one kidney stops working the other one has to work harder
If both stop working the person will die if not treated
Dialysis machines - artificial kidneys
Patients are connected via arteries
All blood passes through the machine for up to 12 hours
Semi-permeable membrane inside the machine only lets small particles move out of blood
Blood passes through and waste removed
A solution provides the correct amounts of sugars and salts to move back into the blood via diffusion
The machine keeps the blood at the correct temperature
Dialysis keeps people alive
Dialysis cannot replicate all the complex functions of the kidneys
Dialysis is a short term solution only
Patients must be careful of their diet
They need high protein foods and to avoid salt
Dialysis is expensive meaning that there is a waiting list
The long term treatment is kidney transplant
A close relative can donate a kidney
The closer the relative the less chance of the body rejecting it
Kidney transplant is major surgery
There is risk for both the patient and the donor
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