The Vascularization Lab is part of the MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine at the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

The lab, directed by Jeroen Rouwkema, focuses on tuning the local mechanical and chemical micro-environment in order to control development and organization of vascularized engineered tissues. Adding a vascular network to an engineered tissue is a promising method to enhance tissue integration and survival after implantation. The engineered vascular network can connect to the vasculature of the patient, resulting in a faster perfusion with blood and therefore a better supply of nutrients and oxygen.

The lab consists of three pillars, which each concentrate on a specific aspect to reach the common goal:

  • To engineer tissue units using novel fabrication technology in order to localize distinct micro-environments.
  • To develop computational models to predict the mechanical and chemical micro-environment due to external deformations and fluid flows, and subsequent models to predict tissue development based on this environment.
  • To develop micro-bioreactor screening systems to experimentally elucidate the effects of multiple combined mechanical and chemical signals on cell behavior and tissue development.