Project 4

Shear-stress related plaque formation & destabilization: from bench to bedside to population studies

Shear stress plays an important role in the patho-biology of the endothelium. Among others, it primes the endothelium for atherosclerotic plaque formation, which can be found at the low and oscillatory shear stress regions in the vasculature. However, evidence is accumulating for a role of high shear stress in plaque destabilization. This project focuses on a) the different (molecular) aspects of the role of low or high shear stress in the generation and destabilization of vulnerable plaques and b) the usage of shear stress in the prediction of plaque destabilization and future events. For that reason studies are performed in animal models of vulnerable plaque formation as well as in patients that are treated for pathological lumen obstruction. For those studies a combination of computational fluid dynamics and advanced catheter based or non-invasive imaging techniques for the assessment of plaque composition is applied. Using the information from the above described studies, we investigate whether shear stress can contribute to prediction models of atherosclerotic plaque growth and events in a population based study.

Principal InvestigatorsJJ Wentzel, K van der Heiden
Co-InvestigatorsMR Bernsen, OH Franco, RJ van Geuns, FJH Gijsen, S Klein,
BJ Krenning, A van der Lugt, M de Jong,  AFW van der Steen, 
MW Vernooij, TH van Walsum,
PhD candidates

K Dilba, EMJ Hartman, A Hoogendoorn, EJ Meester,
AM Moerman, R Xing