Bert van Rietbergen

  • 11098 Citations
1991 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research profile

Bert van Rietbergen is an Associate Professor in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics research group. Most of his research is aimed at the evaluation of bone structural and mechanical properties for the study of bone diseases (osteoporosis) and implant failure. He has developed a new computational approach for mechanical analysis of bone structures from high-resolution images, and over the last decade his work has focused on clinical applications of this approach for improved diagnosis of bone fracture risk.

Apart from bone fracture risk diagnosis, it is also important to predict how this fracture risk may develop as the results of aging, pharmacological treatments or orthopedic surgery. Van Rietbergen aims at predicting this by developing computational models based on mechanical and biological principles that are validated relative to data obtained from clinical studies.

In recent projects Van Rietbergen is concerned with patient specific prognosis of the risk of bone fracture, multiscale approaches to predict bone remodeling, the analysis of surgical procedures such as used for correction/stabilization of skeletal deformities/fractures and the application of biomaterials.  

Academic background

Bert van Rietbergen studied mechanical engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, The Netherlands) where he received his MSc degree in 1988. After a short appointment as research assistant at the department of Cariology and Endodontology of Radboud University Nijmegen (The Netherlands), he moved to the Orthopaedic Research Lab of that same university in 1989. From 1992-1996 he performed his PhD research there under supervision of Prof. Rik Huiskes. He obtained his PhD cum laude with his thesis on 'Mechanical behavior and adaptation of trabecular bone in relation to bone morphology'. In 1997, Van Rietbergen moved to Switzerland for a postdoc position at the ETH Zürich (Institute of Biomedical Engineering). In 1999 he returned to the TU/e to be appointed at Assistant Professor in the newly formed department of Biomedical Engineering. In 2003 he was appointed Associate Professor of Bone & Orthopaedic Biomechanics. 

Affiliated with

· Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Research School CAPHRI, Maastricht University Medical Center, Maastricht, the Netherlands 

Partners in (semi-)industry

· Scanco Medical AG

· DSM Biomedical BV

· Mereo Biopharma 

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Research Output

Bone remodelling in humans is load-driven but not lazy

Christen, P., Ito, K., Ellouz, R., Boutroy, S., Sornay-Rendu, E., Chapurlat, R. & Rietbergen, van, B., 2014, In : Nature Communications. 5, p. 4855-1/5 5 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 81 Citations (Scopus)
    148 Downloads (Pure)

    Cortical and trabecular bone microarchitecture as an independent predictor of incident fracture risk in older women and men in the Bone Microarchitecture International Consortium (BoMIC): a prospective study

    Samelson, E. J., Broe, K. E., Xu, H., Yang, L., Boyd, S., Biver, E., Szulc, P., Adachi, J., Amin, S., Atkinson, E., Berger, C., Burt, L., Chapurlat, R., Chevalley, T., Ferrari, S., Goltzman, D., Hanley, D. A., Hannan, M. T., Khosla, S., Liu, C-T. & 13 others, Lorentzon, M., Mellstrom, D., Merle, B., Nethander, M., Rizzoli, R., Sornay-Rendu, E., van Rietbergen, B., Sundh, D., Wong, A. K. O., Ohlsson, C., Demissie, S., Kiel, D. P. & Bouxsein, M. L., 1 Jan 2019, In : the Lancet. Diabetes & Endocrinology. 7, 1, p. 34-43 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 39 Citations (Scopus)
    1 Downloads (Pure)

    A new method to determine trabecular bone elastic properties and loading using micromechanical finite-element models

    Rietbergen, van, B., Weinans, H., Huiskes, H. W. J. & Odgaard, A., 1995, In : Journal of Biomechanics. 28, 1, p. 69-81

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 698 Citations (Scopus)
    175 Downloads (Pure)

    Trabecular bone tissue strains in the healthy and osteoporotic human femur

    Rietbergen, van, B., Huiskes, R., Eckstein, F. & Rüegsegger, P., 2003, In : Journal of Bone and Mineral Research. 18, 10, p. 1781-1788

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 197 Citations (Scopus)
    2 Downloads (Pure)
    Open Access
  • 3 Citations (Scopus)
    20 Downloads (Pure)


    Database of femur samples

    Hazrati Marangalou, J. (Creator), Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, 2013



    Bone structure and function

    1/09/14 → …


    Continuum mechanics

    1/09/13 → …


    Project Biomechanics

    1/09/14 → …


    Student theses

    3D laxity assessment in ACL-patients

    Author: Kruis, N., 1 Jan 2016

    Supervisor: Ito, K. (Supervisor 1), van Rietbergen, B. (Supervisor 2), Verdonschot, N. J. (External person) (External coach) & Sprengers, A. (Supervisor 1)

    Student thesis: Master

    Adaptive bone remodeling in the acetabulum after noncemented total hip replacement

    Author: Dormans, K., 31 Mar 2002

    Supervisor: Huiskes, H. (Supervisor 1) & van Rietbergen, B. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    A method for the determination of the human muscular PCSA based on diffusion tensor imaging

    Author: Kierkels, T., 31 Aug 2015

    Supervisor: Ito, K. (Supervisor 1), van Rietbergen, B. (Supervisor 2), Meijer, K. (External coach), Drost, M. (External coach) & Oomen, P. (External coach)

    Student thesis: Master

    Analysis of total disc replacement failure mechanisms

    Author: van Rijsbergen, M., 31 Aug 2011

    Supervisor: Punt, I. (External person) (External coach), Willems, P. C. (External person) (External coach), van Rietbergen, B. (Supervisor 1) & Ito, K. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    A new method to measure hindfoot stiffness in children with clubfeet

    Author: Koopmans, P., 1 Jan 2016

    Supervisor: van Rietbergen, B. (Supervisor 1), Reijman, M. (External person) (External coach), van der Steen, M. C. (External person) (External coach), Bovendeerd, P. (Supervisor 2), Ito, K. (Supervisor 2) & Besselaar, A. (External person) (External coach)

    Student thesis: Master