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Introduction Biomechanics Laboratory

Research focused on the relationship between biomechanical parameters and vascular disease.


At the Biomechanics Laboratory we study the effect of mechanical stresses on generation, progression, destabilization and rupture of atherorsclerotic plaques. Insight in these processes helps to improve selection, diagnosis and treatment of patients with atherosclerosis. The research covers these aspect from bench-to-bedside, including cell studies, animal experiments and patient studies. More background info with respect to the effect of the impact of mechanical stresses on vascular biology can be found here.



In order to investigate the relationship between biomechanical parameters and vascular disease the 3D geometry of the lumen and vessel wall is required, which serves as input for computational modeling. We developed technology to 3D reconstruct the coronary arterial lumen and wall by fusion of various in vivo imaging modalities, including angiography, IVUS, MSCT and VH-IVUS. The first 3D reconstructions of human coronary arteries in vivo were based on a combination of ANGiography and intravascular Utra Sound dubbed " ANGUS". We used this technique to study localization of atherosclerosis, in-stent restenosis and vascular remodeling in patients and animals.


Currently we are using, for the same purpose, MSCT in combination with intravascular imaging techniques. For carotid artery reconstruction, we apply non-invasive imaging techniques such as MRI end MSCT. Moreover, we developed a methodology for 3D reconstruction of the carotid vessel wall by using histology from endarterectomy material. The figure shows an example.


Research projects

Currently, the general methodology described above is applied to study bio-fluid and wall mechanics in various vascular  territories. Not only blood flow induced wall shear stress  in relation to plaque progression and destabilization is investigated but also stress distribution inside the atherosclerotic vessel wall is studied for prediction of plaque rupture. Among others, we are working on various topics, including the influence of shear stress on plaque composition in human carotid arteries , the relationship between shear stress and strain in human coronary arteries and plaque mechanics. An overview of the different research lines can be found here.