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NC3Rs | 20 Years: Pioneering Better Science
Project grant

Development of a fully humanised model for understanding platelet function


At a glance

Pending start
Award date
September 2023 - September 2026
Grant amount
Principal investigator
Dr Alice Pollitt


University of Reading


  • Replacement



This award aims to combine two technologies previously developed with NC3Rs funding to determine how platelets interact with damaged blood vessels, replacing some studies using genetically modified mice in thrombosis research.

Platelet function suppression is a common treatment to prevent heart attacks and strokes but can result in serious side effects, such as a severe bleed. Research is ongoing to better understand how platelets interact with blood vessels in health and disease to develop new treatments. However, platelets lack a nucleus, which means common in vitro techniques used to study other cell types cannot be used creating a heavy reliance on genetically modified mouse models. Dr Alice Pollitt and colleagues have overcome this barrier by developing a method using fusogenic liposomes to directly alter protein expression in human platelets. Working with Co-Investigator Dr Alan Harper and colleagues who previously developed an artificial human blood vessel using NC3Rs funding, Alice will explore combining the two technologies to enable more platelet studies to be conducted without animals. To demonstrate the utility of the method Alice will investigate platelet protein function in thrombus formation.