MDR Colloquium – October

During the MDR Colloquium MDR researchers will share their latest findings and outcomes to the rest of the consortium and ISAB members. Every month one junior and one senior researcher will take the floor to show their work and get feedback. You can find the complete program here.
You can join the meeting via the Outlook invitation you received.

In October the MDR Colloquium will take place on the 7th at 16:00h (CET).

During this colloquium we will have 2 presenters:

Dylan Mostert

PhD student at Cell-Matrix Interaction for Cardiovascular Tissue Regeneration group, Eindhoven University of Technology

Methods to restore structural cardiac organization

The human myocardium is a mechanically active tissue typified by its anisotropic organization of cells and extracellular matrix. Upon injury, the myocardium undergoes dramatic alterations, resulting in disruption of anisotropy and loss of coordinated contraction. Moreover, loss of anisotropic organization hampers the differentiation, matrix production, and mechanotransduction of resident and newly injected cardiac cells. Therefore, restoring the anisotropic organization in the injured myocardium could greatly benefit myocardial regeneration. 

In this project, we studied the effect of mechanical and structural cues, inspired by myocardial biology, on the organization of cardiac cells. We showed that uniaxial cyclic strain, mimicking the local deformation of cardiac beating, led to anisotropic organization of cardiac fibroblasts (cFBs), but not of cardiomyocytes (hiPSC-CMs). Next, we reconstructed the cellular compositions of normal and pathological myocardium using co-cultures with varying cell ratios. Surprisingly, contrary to the response of the hiPSC-CM monoculture, the co-cultures adopted an anisotropic organization under uniaxial cyclic strain, regardless of the co-culture composition. These data suggest that the mechanoresponsiveness of cFBs may be critical in determining myocardial tissue structure and function. 

To further investigate the relevance of these mechanical and structural cues in vivo, we developed 3D myocardial micro-tissues, consisting of cell-laden collagen I/Matrigel constructs within flexible micropillars. Using this model, we successfully imposed mechanical constraints to tune the degree of microtissue organization and allow measurement of tissue contraction. We will discuss how uniaxial cyclic strain can be used to induce anisotropy in a 3D myocardial micro-tissue and how this effects tissue contraction and function. 


Caroline Cheng

Associate Professor at the Nephrology and Hypertension department, UMC Utrecht

Human iPSCs vascular organoids as a pool of vascular progenitors for TE of complex layered small-calibre macrovessels under biomechanical stimulation

Background information
Dr. Cheng is member and workpackage leader of multiple large national consortia, including IVALVE (heart valve and blood vessel regeneration work together with TUe), EGIP (new mapping techniques for atrial fibrillation), RECONNECT (Cardiorenal research), and Queen of Hearts (biomarkers in female associated cardiovascular disease), which are all supported by the Dutch Heart Foundation. A large part of her research is also funded by these consortia. Within RECONNECT she plays a prominent role as consortium scientific coordinator.

Together with Dr. Debby Gawlitta, she is also involved in a VVUMC funded project for development of new bio-inks and 3D printing techniques for complex vascular networks. Additional grants and awards include e.g. the Netherlands Foundation of CardioVascular Excellence (NFCVE) research grant in 2009, and the EMC fellowship grant in 2008. For more information on the different consortia and the 3D bioprinting project, please visit the weblinks below. (RMU website –

Moderator: Martijn Kern