IGEM:MIT/2005/Program cells to swim around blood vessels, eating arterial plaque

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Classification of arterial plaque by spectral analysis in remodelled human atherosclerotic coronary arteries

Article aimed to identify plaque types using RF, US, and remodelling segments of atherosclerotic coronary arteries. This would be helpful to figure out what types of enzymes we would need to use to break down plaque if we are aiming to engineer cells to home, attack, and escape as opposed to eating it (where we could find the cells sticking to the plaque, which is stuck to the artery...double-layer plaque icing...hmm, bypass surgery?). http://www.picgames.com/images/aim/smile.gif

Detection and Quantification of Lipoprotein (a) in the Arterial Wall of 107 Coronary Bypass Patients

Arterial Calcification and Not Lumen Stenosis Is Highly Correlated With Atherosclerotic Plaque Burden in Humans: A Histologic Study of 723 Coronary Artery Segments Using Nondecalcifying Methodology

The interface of atherosclerosis and thrombosis: basic mechanisms. This is the abstract only.

Metalloproteinases (enzymes that break down cap constituents)

Here's something a little different. This discusses the Thrombolytic drugs administered post myocardial infarction. All of which are enzymes that are used to dissolve blood clots. It would be interesting to engineer endothelial cells to produce enzymes as these when blood clots occur, or to administer this drug via some cell type that will hone in on blood clots and release the enzymes to dissolve them.

This method may also be useful for post islet transplants (to produce insulin) for patients with diabetes. Patients must take blood thinners in order to avoid blood coagulation with the donor islet or a synthetic islet.