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Principal Investigator

Dr. ir. F.J.H. (Frank) Gijsen, PhD

Associate Professor

  • Department
  • Cardiology



Research interests

I was trained as a mechanical engineer, and did my PhD on experimental and numerical analyses of blood flow in large arteries. My current research topics are in the domain of image-based biomechanics of the cardiovascular system. My main interests include the influence of blood flow induced wall shear stress on atherosclerotic plaque progression, composition and rupture. Furthermore, I focus on plaque biomechanics in order to assess the mechanical stability of coronary and carotid plaques. For both research topics, I combine state of the art finite element analysis of both the blood flow and plaque mechanics with the latest imaging modalities.

Current projects

  • Plaque rupture experiments through uni-axial tension tests and inflation experiments
  • Inverse finite element methods for determination of plaque properties
  • Blood flow and stents: can we predict in stent restenosis?
  • Multiscale modeling of in stent restenosis
  • Plaque mechanics: what is the role of calcifications on stress distribution?
  • Tissue Engineering a human disease model for atherosclerosis
  • Determining the lipid profile of human atherosclerotic plaques
  • Linking MRI-based shear stress calculations to human carotid plaque composition
  • Experimental characterization of human thrombi

Field(s) of expertise

  • Cardiovascular Biomechanics
  • Atherosclerotic Plaque Imaging
  • Rupture Mechanics
  • Computational Fluid Dynamics

Education and career

I did my PhD at the TU/e under supervision of profs Janssen and Reneman and dr. van de Vosse. I completed my dissertation 1998 carrying the title ‘Modeling of wall shear stress in large arteries’. I started a bioengineering consultancy company and was involved in setting up the research program for the newly founded department of Biomedical Engineering at the TU/e before moving to the Erasmus Medical Center in 2001. I started out as a postdoc, and I am associate professor at the department of Biomedical Engineering since 2014. Since 2020, I am is also associate professor at the department of Biomechanical Engineering at the TUDelft.


Teaching activities

  • Supervised 7 PhD theses to date
  • Supervised numerous MSc and BSc theses and internships.
  • Participated in various educational programs on a national and international level.

Other positions

Editorial board:

  • Associate Editor Journal of Biomechanics, 2017 – present
  • Editorial Board Cardiovascular Engineering and Technology, 2018-present
  • Guest editor Special issue Thrombosis and Heamostasis March 2016
  • Guest editor Special issue Journal of Biomechanics, 2016

(Inter)national societies:

  • 2017-2018; Executive Committee, BED ASME
  • 2015-present: Member of the Biofluids Committee, BED ASME


Conference organization

I am one of the founders of the International Conference on Biomechanics in Vascular Biology and Cardiovascular Disease  I participated as co-organizer to various other meeting, including the VPH meeting in 2016 in Amsterdam, and World Congress of Biomechanics in 2014, in Boston.


I currently work together with the Biomechanical Engineering group from the 3ME department of the TUDelft, and with the department of Biomedical Engineering of the TU/e. Furthermore, I have active research collaborations with international partners, including Free University of Amsterdam, AMC, Politecnico Milano, Ghent University, University of Limerick, University of Sheffield, Cambridge, Oxford, and MIT.

My Groups