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The high morbidity and mortality of atherosclerosis is typically precipitated by plaque rupture, consequent thrombosis and myocardial infarction. However, research on underlying mechanisms and therapeutic approaches has been hampered by the lack of animal models that reproduce the plaque instability seen in human atherosclerosis. We developed a unique, reliable mouse model based on flow measurements and computational fluid dynamics that resembles human plaque characteristics most closely. We use this unique model now:

  1. as a discovery tool to identify messenger RNA and microRNA (miR) associated with plaque rupture.
  2. for developing/testing of potential plaque-stabilising drugs.
  3. developing various approaches in molecular imaging (MRI, PET, ultrasound) that will allow the specific detection of unstable, rupture-prone plaques.

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