Have you ever wondered why your condition improves when you run more often? This is because organs and tissues, such as the heart and our blood vessels, can adapt to how they are loaded. We could also use this natural adaptability of living tissues in a clever way to replace diseased tissues. For example, by implanting synthetic materials that can attract cells that can generate new body tissue depending on how the cells are loaded. To make this possible, however, we need to understand which stimuli cells respond to and how new tissue is exactly made. We try to understand and predict how tissues respond to mechanical factors, such as force and deformation. We develop mathematical models that allow us to predict how tissues adapt or even regrow under the influence of these factors in order to ultimately understand how we can control these processes. Our aim is that these models will soon be able to calculate the best way to replace or repair diseased tissues. So that, for example, patients suffering from cardiovascular disease can be provided with healthy living heart valves and blood vessels again.

Eindhoven University of Technology

Tissues respond to all kinds of external stimuli, if necessary they can even adapt to changing circumstances. Sandra Loerakker studies the behavior of healthy and diseased tissues and uses computer models to predict and control tissue repair.

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