In vitro engineering of functional myocardium

Within this line of research, the Medical Cell Biology Research Group focuses on the in vitro engineering of functional myocardium that mimics human heart tissue for analysis of myocardial function:

  • Differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into functional cardiomyocytes and study different genetic heart diseases (for instance Marfan syndrome) with the help of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology.
  • Dysfunction (of what?) may result from a complicated interaction of various cell types, thus more complex heart models are needed. Our objective is to mimic this interaction by realizing 3D co-culture of all cell types that make up the heart, including the fibroblasts that synthesize the ECM, to get a deeper understanding of this interaction.
  • Cultivation of cardiomyocytes with suitable biomaterials and characterization the functional properties of the cardiomyocytes.

Research project

Human stem cell-derived models to unveil mechanisms of impaired myocardial function in Marfan Syndrome



  • Jolanda van Hengel, researcher