Prof. MEng PhD T.H. Smit

Associate Professor, Full Professor
Main activities
Tissue Engineering; Mechanobiology of development and disease
Focus of research

Development of the spine

Disc degeneration and osteo-arthritis

Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine

Degradable polymers


Key publications
  • Ghazanfari Samaneh, Khademhosseini Ali, Smit Theodoor H. Mechanisms of lamellar collagen formation in connective tissues Biomaterials 2016;97:74-84 [PubMed]
  • Vergroesen P.-P. A., Kingma I., Emanuel K. S., Hoogendoorn R. J. W., Welting T. J., van Royen B. J., van Dieën J. H., Smit T. H. Mechanics and biology in intervertebral disc degeneration: a vicious circle Osteoarthritis and cartilage / OARS, Osteoarthritis Research Society 2015;23 (7):1057-1070 [PubMed]
  • Emanuel K. S., Vergroesen P.-P. A., Peeters M., Holewijn R. M., Kingma I., Smit T. H. Poroelastic behaviour of the degenerating human intervertebral disc: a ten-day study in a loaded disc culture system European cells & materials 2015;29:330-40; discussion 340-1 [PubMed]
  • Klumpers Darinka D., Zhao Xuanhe, Mooney David J., Smit Theo H. Cell mediated contraction in 3D cell-matrix constructs leads to spatially regulated osteogenic differentiation INTEGRATIVE BIOLOGY 2013;5 (9):1174-1183 [PubMed]
  • Vashaghian Mahshid, Zandieh-Doulabi Behrouz, Roovers Jan-Paul, Smit Theodoor Henri Electrospun Matrices for Pelvic Floor Repair: Effect of Fiber Diameter on Mechanical Properties and Cell Behavior Tissue engineering. Part A 2016;22 (23-24):1305-1316 [PubMed]
All Publications
Curriculum Vitae

1989: MSc (ir) in Mechanical Engineering at Technical University Delft

1990: Research fellow at M.E. Mueller Institute for Biomechanics, University of Berne, Switzerland

1996: PhD (Dr.-Ing) in Biomechanics at Technical University Hamburg-Harburg (D)

          Thesis: the mechanical significance of the trabecular bone structure in the human lumbar vertebra

1996: Research fellow Academic Hospital Vrije Universiteit

1999: Assistant professor biomechanics and tissue engineering at AZVU/VUmc

2007: Associate professior of Skeletal Physics and Tissue Engineering, VU University medical centre

2011: Visiting scholar at Wyss Institute of Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University, Boston MA

2012: Professor of Translational Regenerative Medicine, VU University medical centre

2016: Professor of Translational Regenerative Medicine, Academic Medical Centre

Research programmes

Prof. MEng PhD T.H. Smit (Mechanobiology of development and disease)

Mechanical stress is a key factor in morphogenesis (the origin of morphological form) as well as the onset and development of disease. This most clearly observed in skeletal tissues, which reflect the loads born by them and skeletal diseases like osteo-arthritis and osteoporosis. Mechanical stress on cells also induces the onset of katabolic and inflammatory gene expression, thereby affecting the extracellular matrix and inducing pain experience. Mechanobiology is studied on living embryos, organs or tissue constructs, subjected to well defined loading conditions. Tissue regeneration is supported by the use of instructive biomaterials.

PhD Students
MSc K.S. Emanuel
MSc S. Fazaeli
MSc B.K.A. Nelemans
MD K.P. Paul
MSc M. Peeters
MD C. Rustenburg
MSc M. Schmitz