Jump to top menu Jump to main menu Jump to content
A microbubble
Research project


Status: Ongoing

Targeted microbubble vibrations to accurately diagnose and treat cardiac device-related bacterial biofilm infections (ERC starting grant Kooiman)

What we do

About our project

What is the motivation for this research?

Because of the world’s ageing population, more and more cardiac devices are being implanted, such as pacemakers, prosthetic valves, and left ventricular assist devices. However, life-threatening bacterial infections can occur on these devices. Currently, such infections are mainly diagnosed using ultrasound imaging; unfortunately, this method is not specific or sensitive enough, making accurate diagnoses challenging. A targeted, non-invasive treatment is also desperately needed, but currently unavailable because of the complex disease.

What is the aim?

Advanced ultrasound imaging and therapy using targeted ultrasound contrast agents, i.e. targeted microbubbles, to detect and treat bacterial infections is needed to solve the challenges. The main objective is to develop innovative detection, analysis, and modelling methods to accurately determine which targeted microbubble vibrations are needed to diagnose and eradicate bacterial biofilm infections on cardiac devices.

How will you perform this research?

We will develop ultrasound molecular imaging and treatment of cardiac device-related biofilm infections using ultrasound and targeted microbubbles. The research has three main objectives:
Objective 1: develop microbubbles targeted to cardiac device-related biofilm infection;
Objective 2: develop ultrasound molecular imaging for diagnosis;
Objective 3: treat cardiac device-related biofilm infections.
For this research we will also use infected cardiac devices removed from patients as part of their treatment.

What is the desirable outcome?

The project’s achievements will enable precise diagnosis and treatment of cardiac device-related bacterial biofilm infections.

Funds & Grants

ERC Starting grant 805308


Collaborations within Erasmus MC

Cardiothoracic Surgery
Medical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (MMID)

Collaborations outside of Erasmus MC

University of Virginia, Klibanov lab
Leeds Microbubble Consortium  
Laboratory of Acoustical Wavefield Imaging, Delft University of Technology


Our team

Klazina Kooiman, PhD, Principal Investigator


  • Mariël Leon – Grooters, BSc

Postdoctoral fellow:

  • Kirby R. Lattwein, PhD

PhD students:

  • Joop J.P. Kouijzer, MSc
  • Hongchen Hongchen Li, MSc


  • Reza Pakdaman Zangabad, PhD

Any questions or comments?

Please use our contact form.

Contact form