The process of vulnerable plaque formation is a very complex event that involves a combination of local stimuli such as calcifying protein particles, extracellular vesicles, and cellular phenotypic switching with distant processes such as Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 and chronic kidney disease that modulate interactions of VSMCs, endothelial cells and macrophages. As current clinical practice is limited to late intervention, the INTRICARE consortium will focus on the earliest processes associated with vulnerable plaque formation with the ultimate aim to establish novel preventive, diagnostic, and therapeutic tools that will improve current clinical practice. It will be a unique multidisciplinary and comprehensive effort, including diagnostics & intervention development, biomarker studies, mechanistic studies and model development in both preclinical and clinical settings that ultimately will become the success driver of INTRICARE.
The objective of INTRICARE is to train a new generation of scientist that will be excellently skilled to expedite our understanding of vulnerable plaque formation, with a particular focus on microcalcification, and to develop innovative solutions for the early prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of atherosclerosis.
The duration of the program is 48 months, consisting of 15 ESR projects of 36 months each. The INTRICARE programme started on March 1, 2017.