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Hallenplan Biomedica 2017

Day 2 // Closing Keynote, Blauwe Zaal

Keynote 4

Prof. Dr. Frank Baaijens

12:40 - In situ cardiovascular tissue engineering

Prof. Dr. Frank Baaijens

Eindhoven University of Technology, NL

Rector Magnificus

Curriculum vitae

Frank Baaijens was born in Geleen, the Netherlands, 1958. He received his PhD degree from the Eindhoven University of Technology in 1987 with prof. J.D. Janssen as his supervisor. In 1985 he joined Philips Research Laboratories in Eindhoven to work on Computational Mechanics. Since 1990 he has been part time professor on Computational Rheology at the Eindhoven University of Technology. In July 1995 he was appointed full professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In October 2002 he was appointed full professor in the Department of BioMedical Engineering (Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Tissue Engineering). From 2003-2007 he was Dean of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, and from 2007-2014 he was Scientific Director of the national research program on BioMedical Materials (BMM). He has published over 300 peer reviewed papers in international scientific journals, and has graduated nearly 50 PhD candidates. From the research in his group the company QTIS/e was started (2007), that later merged with Xeltis (2014). He currently serves as Rector Magnificus of the Eindhoven University of Technology.


In situ cardiovascular tissue engineering

Although current heart valve prostheses are life saving devices, there is a pressing need for dramatically improved heart valve substitutes. Prosthesis related problems affect 30-60% of the patients within 10 years post-operatively. One third of all patients younger than 18 years require reoperation within 15 years after receiving an aortic heart valve replacement.  Patients that require aortic heart valve replacement have up to 50% reduced life expectancy compared to age matched healthy individuals. It affects a large patients group since each year over 300,000 heart valves are replaced worldwide.  A breakthrough solution is required to resolve this demanding health care problem.

In situ tissue engineering using a biodegradable starter matrix that is repopulated with endogenous cells is emerging as a promising technology to create living heart valves inside the human body having the potential to last a life-time: one valve for life.

One approach uses decellularized tissue engineered heart valves, which have demonstrated excellent cellular repopulation, both in a sheep and in non-human primates. A second approach builds on the notion that inflammation is not merely a detrimental response to biomaterials, but when harnessed properly, can be exploited to induce a natural regenerative response. It is hypothesized that the initial response to the biodegradable synthetic graft is pivotal and dictates the subsequent cascade of inflammation and wound healing towards pathological repair or physiological regeneration. Both approaches have successfully achieved one year follow up in a sheep model.

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