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What is the basis of our life? Countless molecular interactions, in our body, in our organs and in our tissue. After damage, these molecules could repair, recover or regenerate an organ, for example. But what if a kidney cannot recover? Then, scar tissue will form. And that is what we want to reverse. If we zoom in on our organs, we can see cells that are encapsulated by a material, the so-called extracellular matrix. Cells and matrix communicate with each other. These communication processes are what we want to imitate in the lab. You can compare this to building with LEGO building blocks, in different colors or shapes, to eventually create a structure with a certain function. Doing this, we hope in the future, we can grow a kidney in the lab, recover the heart after a heart attack and repair the eye with synthetic materials – naturally.

REVERSING ORGAN DAMAGE
PATRICIA DANKERSPROFILE
Eindhoven University of Technology

After damage, the human body can often repair or regenerate an organ. But what if an organ cannot repair itself? Then scar tissue forms. And that is what Patricia Dankers and her group wants to be able to reverse.

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