Atherosclerosis, Vascular Biology & Inflammation

This research program is directed at modulating lipid, inflammatory and immune responses involved in regulating vascular remodeling including aspects of new therapeutic strategies, diagnostics and imaging. This ranges from preclinical studies in cells and mice, to clinical studies testing and validating new therapeutic options (Prof. Jukema).

In order to better understand the pathophysiology and molecular and cellular mechanisms occurring in the vessel wall, the behavior of vascular cells is key. For which, state-of-the-art imaging technologies such as photoacoustic imaging (Dr M.R. de Vries), ultrafast ultrasound for intravital imaging (Dr Lebrin) and in patient near infrared fluorescence imaging (Dr van der Vorst) are used.

In particular microRNAs and noncoding RNAs have gained our interest. (Dr Nossent, Prof Quax, Dr Bijkerk, Prof van Zonneveld).

The role of inflammation driven vascular remodeling is being investigated in various research projects directed at vein graft disease and plaque rupture (Dr M.R. de Vries, Prof Quax), vascular access for dialysis (Prof Rotmans and Dr M.R. de Vries) and aneurysm formation (Prof Hamming, Dr Lindeman and Dr Gerwal).

CT scan heart

CT scan, 3D reconstruction of a heart, frontal view. Example of a saphenous vein graft used as an aorta to ramus circumflexus graft (black arrowhead) and the left internal mammarian artery (LIMA, white arrowhead) grafted on the left anterior descending (LAD) coronary artery.