23 november 2021 – 09:00
Atherosclerotic plaques (arteriosclerosis) are an important cause of cardiovascular disease. They can eventually lead to a heart attack, stroke, or narrowed or blocked arteries. In recent decades, we have become aware of the risks of cardiovascular disease, and more attention has been paid to prevention. Lifestyle changes and taking statins are ways to prevent cardiovascular disease. Statins are cholesterol-lowering drugs that prevent the growth of atherosclerotic plaques. However, where atherosclerosis was previously seen as a process dominated by fats, the focus has now shifted to the role of the immune system in the development and progression of atherosclerosis.
By developing new imaging protocols, you can better map the role of the immune system, so that you can better understand the disease process and develop new therapies that target inflammatory processes in the plaque. One of the imaging techniques is the innovative PET/MR imaging, which allows you to characterize the composition, size and activity of specific inflammatory processes in the plaque. The activity of specific inflammatory cells can be visualized using nanoparticles, which are very small particles that are radioactively labeled. Senders also developed other nanoparticles into which you can put an anti-inflammatory drug, so-called nanoimmunotherapy. This therapy can slow down the inflammation in the atherosclerotic plaque and reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Subsequently, the new imaging techniques can be used to contribute to interim assessments in the development of new nano-immunotherapies.
Promotion (UvA), 14:00 u, Aula
Max Senders: Precision imaging and nanoimmunotherapy for inflammatory atherosclerosis