Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the developed world. The prevalence of this disease in the European Union (EU) has an immense social and economic impact; the problem will be further exacerbated by the aging population in this community. The current proposal aims to advance understanding of the initiation of atherosclerosis ( hence the underlying cause of clinical conditions such as heart attacks) by developing and using numerical models of the transport of water and macromolecules in the arterial wall; such transport is known to be involved in the development of the disease, but is poorly understood. The key issue is that many of the details of transport are elusive and no reliable methods of measurement are available. The study will include multiscale models of the arterial wall, where advanced mathematical models that include the different layers and cellular make up of the arterial wall will be coupled into a higher order finite element numerical method. With this model it will be possible to determine regions where macromolecules become trapped within the wall (and, by implication, where atherosclerosis will form). The proposed models will be backed up by experimental studies of macromolecule uptake in the arterial wall. The knowledge gained in the study could be used in the development of novel pharmacological interventions and hence in reducing prevalence of the disease.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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