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Student research project

Supervisor(s): Professor Judy de Haan and Dr Arpeeta Sharma

Research focus

This project will assess the protective effect of novel antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds on the development of restenosis and thrombosis after coronary stent placement.

Project summary

Diabetic patients are at a 2–4 fold increased risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) resulting in arterial vessel closure (restenosis), severe chest pain, heart attack or stroke. Balloon angioplasty and stenting (BAS) is a non-invasive procedure performed to re-establish blood flow. Drug eluting stents (DES) are designed to overcome re-closure of vessels post BAS. Diabetic patients are 20 per cent more likely to experience restenosis post BAS than non-diabetic patients (5%). This project, based on mechanistic understanding of restenosis, will test novel strategies to limit restenosis and thrombosis in preclinical diabetic mouse models of severe restenosis. Miniaturised novel DES will be trialled in parallel with current DES to establish superiority in our model. This will pave the way for unique DES specifically designed for the diabetic patient.

This project is suitable for an Honours or Masters student and will use various techniques, including:

  • in vivo models of diabetes-associated restenosis
  • assessment of vascular restenosis
  • RNA isolation and qRT-PCR
  • protein isolation and Western blotting
  • histology
  • immunohistochemistry.

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With the rising number of Australians affected by diabetes, heart disease and stroke, the need for research is more critical than ever.

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