Cellen vormen samen met de extracellulaire matrix (ECM) verschillende soorten weefsels in ons lichaam. Het gedrag van cellen wordt grotendeels bepaald door de compositie, de mechanische eigenschappen en de morfologie van deze matrix. Als het mogelijk zou zijn om deze natuurlijke ECM na te maken, zouden we volledige controle kunnen krijgen over het gedrag en de eigenschappen van cellen. Op deze manier zou het mogelijk moeten zijn om weefsels niet alleen te repareren maar volledig te herstellen. In onze onderzoeksgroep proberen we dit te bereiken door gebruik te maken van supramoleculaire chemie. Een van onze onderzoeksdoelen is om te bestuderen of synthetische materialen gebaseerd op supramoleculaire chemie daadwerkelijk een functie van de ECM zouden kunnen nabootsen. Daarbij vragen we ons af of het mogelijk zou zijn om op deze manier een beschadigd bloedvat in ons lichaam te herstellen? Of de hartspier te herstellen na een infarct?






















Dinsdag 11 December, 2018



Patricia Y.W. Dankers, PhD, PhD, is professor in Biomedical Materials & Chemistry in the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS), and the department of Biomedical Engineering at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). She is part of the Laboratory of Chemical Biology. The mission of the ‘Supramolecular Biomaterials for Translational Biomedical Science’ (in short) Biomaterials research group is to educate students and perform research in the field of biomaterials science, supramolecular chemistry and regenerative medicine.

Her particular research interests are on the design and synthesis of bioinspired functional biomaterials. In her research, the chemistry of different supramolecular polymeric biomaterials held together via directed, non-covalent interactions is the central theme. Besides obtaining fundamental knowledge on the functioning of supramolecular biomaterials in a biological environment, translation of these biomaterials to biomedical applications is an important task within the Biomaterials research group. A strong focus lies on use of these biomaterials in regenerative medicine, especially in cardiovascular and renal applications. In the cardiovascular field she aims at the development of vascular grafts and heart valves that in situ can be engineered by selective capturing of progenitor cells from the blood (in close collaboration with prof.dr. Carlijn V.C. Bouten). Additionally, she investigates the catheter-delivery of various drugs, cells and exosomes, encapsulated in hydrogels, to the heart after myocardial infarction. Furthermore, the supramolecular biomaterials are also studied to intervene in processes related to kidney disease. She aims at the amelioration of hemodialysis by the development of bilayered supramolecular membranes on which kidney cells can be cultured outside the body.

 She teaches several bachelor and master courses within these themes, such as the bachelor courses ‘Materials Science’, ‘The Kidney’, and the practical course (OGO Het Lab In!) Biomaterials, and the master course ‘Biomaterials’.

She studied chemistry at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where she majored in biochemistry and organic chemistry. During her PhD in natural sciences/chemistry at the Eindhoven University of Technology in the group of prof.dr. E.W. (Bert) Meijer, she combined her fascination for biochemistry and supramolecular chemistry. She developed and studied supramolecular bioactive biomaterials by introducing a modular approach. After her PhD defense in 2006, she worked for the company SupraPolix in Eindhoven, and in the laboratory of Pathology and Medical Biology at the University Medical Center Groningen where together with prof.dr. Marja J.A. van Luyn she initiated the bioartificial kidney project in the Netherlands. She defended her second PhD thesis in medical sciences on kidney regenerative medicine in 2013. In 2010 she worked in the Institute for BioNanotechnology in Medicine at the Northwestern University in Chicago, USA, in the research group of prof.dr. Samuel I. Stupp. She started as an assistant professor in 2008, became an associate professor in 2014, and is full professor in Biomedical Materials since 2017 at the Eindhoven University of Technology.

She is a Veni and Vidi laureate (2008, 2017) and received an ERC starting grant (2012) and ERC Proof of Concept grant (2017). In the last 8 years she acquired more than 8 million Euro of funding. She has been awarded various grants and awards, such as the DSM Science & Technology award, and the Pauline van Wachem award for the best thesis in biomaterials research and tissue engineering. From 2011-2013 she has been a member of the first Young Dutch Health Council (Jonge Gezondheidsraad JongGR). Since 2015 she is a member of the Young Academy (De Jonge Akademie DJA) of the Royal Dutch Society of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), and became a board member in June 2016. Currently she is the president of the Netherlands Society of Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering (NBTE). Additionally, she considers the promulgation of science to society a very important topic. Therefore, she developed and initiated a teaching program at primary schools about performing research. Furthermore, she is involved in setting up of companies in biomaterials development, and she values patenting important findings in order to translate research to the clinic.


Synthetische materialen met biologische eigenschappen
Prof. Dr. Patricia Dankers (TU/e)
Institute for Complex Molecular Systems