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Dr. Jasper Foolen

Jasper Foolen is Assistant Professor at the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group of the department of Biomedical Engineering. His main research interest is mechanobiology and regenerative strategies of tendons and ligaments. Tendon and ligament injuries are involved in over 30% of all musculoskeletal consultations. Over the past decades there has been limited progress in the treatment of tendinopathy and connective tissue fibrosis (scarring). It suffers from poor innate regenerative capacity, the clinical outcome of surgical interventions has remained rather poor and there is controversy concerning adequate treatment. In his research, Jasper Foolen explores the mechanobiological processes that initiate degeneration and promote healing of tendons and ligaments. Experimental platforms (e.g. biomimetic tendons and ligaments) are exploited in combination with numerical models, to develop strategies to improve the structure and functionality of affected tendons and ligaments. Current projects are concerned with the role of cellular junctions in tendon tissue organization, and the impact of cellular organization in 3D tissue on the healing capacity of tendon-derived cells.

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