Notch signaling in cardiovascular tissue


Heart valve disease remains a major health problem. Annually approximately 300.000 valve replacements are performed worldwide and this number is expected to be tripled in 2050. With the current valve replacements half of the patients will come back to the clinic with prosthesis related complications within 10-15 years. Especially for young patients this is a problem. In situ tissue engineering could provide an outcome by implanting a heart valve that uses the regenerative capacity of the human body. Over time the implant will degrade and a native heart valve will remain.

The native heart valve consists of three different layers with each a distinct function. One of the challenges in in situ tissue engineering is the development of this multilayered tissue. It is known from previous studies that Notch signaling plays a prominent role in vascular development.

In this PhD project we would like to understand the relationship between Notch signaling, hemodynamic forces and cardiovascular tissue organization. With this knowledge we could modulate our scaffold in such a way that it can guide multilayered tissue formation via Notch signaling.


Researchers: R.C.H. (Rob) Driessen.
Supervisors:  C.M. (Cecilia) Sahlgren, C.V.C. (Carlijn) Bouten.

Funding by TU/e Impuls project 'CRE@TE'.