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Using nanotechnology to treat cardiovascular disease

Associate Professor Shane Thomas, Institution: University of New South Wales

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2024  

Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease involving the excessive accumulation of fat in the walls of arteries over decades of life, advancing to life-threatening atherosclerotic plaques. Advanced plaques can rupture or burst and block blood flow to the heart, causing a heart attack, which is a leading cause of death in Australia. As the development and rupture of advanced atherosclerotic plaques is driven by inflammation, the discovery of new targeted anti-inflammatory therapeutics is critically important. Associate Professor Shane Thomas's project will evaluate a unique type of nanoparticle that selectively binds to and removes a dangerous group of white blood cells that cause inflammation, thereby limiting their entry into diseased arteries and reducing the severity of atherosclerosis. Importantly, these nanoparticles are biodegradable, meaning they are safe for humans. This project has the potential to identify a new, safe nanotechnological therapy for treating atherosclerosis in cardiovascular disease patients and reducing their risk of heart attack.

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