Heart valve disease is a major health burden, treated by either valve repair or valve replacement, depending on the affected valve. Nearly 300,000 valve replacements are performed worldwide per year. To help understand the molecular processes taking place in healthy or diseased heart valves as well as tissue engineered heart valves, in vitro models are required to study the effect different cues have on cell fate.
In this project you will study the interplay between mechanical (hemodynamic) cues the cells are exposed to and the cell-cell interactions these cells have, both components known to individually affect cell fate in regeneration, homeostasis and pathological processes. To do this we will use Organ-on-Chip technology, microscopy, molecular engineering and qPCR.