Novel probe for in vivo isolation of circulating endothelial cells for diagnosis and follow-up of cardiovascular diseases

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Cardio vascular diseases (CVD) are the leading cause of death and disability worldwide. It is estimated that 17.5 million people died of CVD in 2012, accounting for 31% of all deaths worldwide. As the population ages, this will continue to increase, rising to 23.6 million deaths by 2030. According to the American Heart Association, more than 12 million patients in the EU and the US experience chest pain every year. The most dangerous cause is acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Approximately 25% of these patients do not receive a clearly positive AMI diagnosis using the diagnostic technology currently available. Among these 25%, there is a significant number of undetected high-risk patients who can still have a heart attack in the short term. The resulting socio-economic costs of CVD are also considerable. The total annual cost of CVD in the EU is 192 billion euros. Healthcare costs account for 57% of total costs, productivity losses for 21% and informal care for 22%.


The aim of the project is to investigate a probe that enables the isolation of circulating endothelial cells (CEC) in vivo directly from the patient's blood. The identification of rare CECs is a new, reliable biomarker associated with endothelial damage. From a clinical point of view, these endothelial cells are important indicators of pathological processes in the body and can therefore be used for the diagnosis and follow-up of various cardiovascular diseases. Due to the extremely low concentration of endothelial cells circulating in the blood, ensuring sufficient cell yield is an essential factor for error-free diagnosis. This problem is to be solved with the innovative approach planned in this project. The market launch of the probe significantly increases the survival chances of patients affected by this disease and their quality of life.


This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).