Vascular calcification (VC) is the deposition of calcium phosphate mineral, usually as hydroxyapatite, in the arteries. Despite being a common consequence of ageing, the cellular mechanisms underpinning VC are poorly understood. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are small membrane-bound particles released from cells which contain numerous signalling molecules (including the calcification inhibitor, ATP). Recent work has suggested EVs may play a role in VC. This studentship will investigate whether the systemic changes that can occur during ageing (e.g. altered blood glucose, calcium or phosphate levels) modulate EV composition and release thereby contributing to the development of VC.
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