Vascular Biophysics

The research of this group is devoted to the control of tone and remodeling of blood vessels, with a special interest in the role of physical factors (blood pressure and blood flow) in these processes and the biomechanics of the vascular wall. Our scientific objectives range from unraveling of basic mechanisms to understanding pathogenesis and consequences of notably hypertension, atherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, intracranial aneurysms and (microvascular reperfusion in) ischemic stroke. We use a wide variety of approaches. These include medical imaging modalities (MRI in collaboration with Radiology and in vivo multi-photon microscopy), in vivo approaches such as rodent hypertension and flow restriction models (large vessel occlusion and micro-thrombi), perfused arteries and arterioles of human and animal origin in organoid culture, cell-based experimental models, molecular techniques, and mathematical modeling and simulation. The group aims to combine biophysical and functional experiments with analysis of molecular parameters. Our philosophy is to perform integrative science and utilize a systems approach in order to correlate molecular mechanisms with structure and function of blood vessels and vascular networks in health and disease.

Cardiovascular Hemodynamics
Cardiovascular Hemodynamics and Perfusion

The research of the CV Hemodynamics & Perfusion group [PI: Dr. ir. Maria Siebes] encompasses multidisciplinary investigations ranging from bench to bedside. Mechanistic research is carried out in areas of coronary disease and microvascular pathologies in humans. Experimental projects on vascular network analysis and regional perfusion complement and support the interpretation of the functional clinical data. Physiological measurements, image analysis and biofluid mechanics are integrated with model-based analysis in clinical and pre-clinical studies. The projects are carried out in close collaboration with basic science and clinical departments, and with national and international as well as industrial partners.

Functional assessment of coronary epicardial and microvascular pathophysiology:

Aim: to advance diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities. Novel approaches to analyze intracoronary hemodynamic signals obtained with sensor-equipped guide wires (Prof. dr. J.J. Piek) are developed to gain mechanistic insight into dysfunction of the coronary microcirculation in humans, associated with epicardial disease, diabetes, acute myocardial infarction, heart failure or aortic stenosis. In collaboration with King's College London, we investigate coronary hemodynamic signals.


  • Prof. Dr. Ed van Bavel
  • Dr. Erik Bakker
  • Prof. Dr. Ir. Can Ince
  • Dr. Inge Mulder