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TURBO grant for Andries van der Meer and Frans Russel for blood Vessel-on-Chip

Thursday, 19 December 2019

The TURBO programme of the Radboudumc and the University of Twente has awarded Andries van der Meer (UT) and Frans Russel (Radboudumc) for their technical-medical research proposal 'Modulation of endothelial urate toxicity by urate transporters as a new personalized prevention strategy for atherosclerosis.'

Foto credits: Blood vessel-on-Chip, Laura de Heus (University of Twente)

Too much uric acid in the blood (hyperuricemia) increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Probably because urate (salt of uric acid) builds up in the vascular wall and initiates inflammatory processes. In patients with gout (due to hyperuricemia), allopurinol and febuxostat can lower uric acid levels.

A recent study shows that allopurinol also stimulates the outflow of urate from the vascular cells, whereas febuxostat is supposed to inhibit this process. If that really is the case, this may also explain why less cardiovascular disease is seen during the treatment of gout patients with allopurinol than during treatment with febuxostat.

A Blood Vessel-on-Chip setup at the University of Twente will investigate how both drugs influence the transport of urine and the inflammatory processes in the vascular cells. Based on the results, a clinical study into the prevention of cardiovascular disease in humans can be carried out. This research will also support the predictive value of Blood Vessel-on-Chip models for urate transport.

TURBO grant enables the research groups to develop an innovative idea that should lead to a follow-up application to an external grant provider.

Source: Radboudumc (Dutch)

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