Dysfunction of endothelial cells lining blood vessels is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This project will investigate a new non-invasive technique to assess endothelial function by analysis of the arterial pulse wave. Pulse waveform changes produced by pharmacological drugs that alter endothelial function will be studied in the rabbit and mouse. A computational biophysical model of blood flow in the rabbit cardiovascular system will be developed, validated and applied to identify the haemodynamic mechanisms underlying these changes and determine whether endothelial dysfunction alone is their primary cause. In the last year, the technique will be tested in humans.
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