Carlijn Bouten is professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions in Cardiovascular Regeneration at the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Soft Tissue Engineering & Mechanobiology). Her research group investigates the interplay between living cells and the mechanobiological cues originating from the extracellular matrix under conditions of tissue growth, adaptation, and regeneration and degeneration. The group uses ‘living’ model systems at different length scales (cell, cell-matrix, engineered tissue, native tissue) to quantify these aspects, preferably in real-time. The obtained knowledge is applied in engineering approaches to regenerate living tissues, in particular for the human heart. A prominent example is the development of a synthetic, biodegradable heart valve prosthesis that seduces the body to create a new, living heart valve at the site of implantation. Bouten performs her multidisciplinary research in close collaboration with material scientists, life scientists, clinicians, and medtech spin-offs. She leads several national and international public-private-patient research consortia in the field of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering.
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