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“The intriguing capacity of living cells to shape and adapt their own environment teaches us how to engineer new tissues for the heart.”

Research profile

Carlijn Bouten is professor of Cell-Matrix Interactions in Cardiovascular Regeneration at the department of Biomedical Engineering (research group Soft Tissue Engineering & Mechanobiology). Her research group investigates the interplay between living cells and the mechanobiological cues originating from the extracellular matrix under conditions of tissue growth, adaptation, and regeneration and degeneration. The group uses ‘living’ model systems at different length scales (cell, cell-matrix, engineered tissue, native tissue) to quantify these aspects, preferably in real-time.

The obtained knowledge is applied in engineering approaches to regenerate living tissues, in particular for the human heart. A prominent example is the development of a synthetic, biodegradable heart valve prosthesis that seduces the body to create a new, living heart valve at the site of implantation. Bouten performs her multidisciplinary research in close collaboration with material scientists, life scientists, clinicians, and medtech spin-offs. She leads several national and international public-private-patient research consortia in the field of Regenerative Medicine and Tissue Engineering.

Academic background

Carlijn Bouten was trained in functional anatomy and biomechanics as well as muscle physiology at the department of Human Movement Sciences of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where she received her MSc degree in 1991. In 1995, she obtained her PhD degree from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e, the Netherlands). She performed postdoctoral research at the Université Laval (Quebec), University of London, and at TU/e. In 1998, she was appointed assistant professor in Cellular Biomechanics in the department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e, and in 2002 she became associate professor of Tissue Engineering in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the same university. In 2010, Carlijn Bouten was appointed full professor of Cell-Matrix Interaction in Cardiovascular Regeneration at TU/e. She is a recipient of the Aspasia Career Development award of the Dutch Science Foundation NWO (2002), which awarded her a VICI grant for her research on heart valve tissue engineering in 2003. From 2005-2010 Bouten was member of The Young Academy of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW).Since 2017, she leads the national gravitation program Materials-Driven Regeneration. In that same year she was elected member of the KNAW.

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  • 36 Similar Profiles
Tissue Engineering Medicine & Life Sciences
Heart Valves Medicine & Life Sciences
Tissue Engineering & Materials Science
Collagen Medicine & Life Sciences
Tissue engineering Engineering & Materials Science
Scaffolds Engineering & Materials Science
Scaffolds (biology) Engineering & Materials Science
Blood Vessels Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1991 2020

6 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
Biocompatible Materials
Tissue engineering
1 Downloads (Pure)

Layer-specific cell differentiation in bi-layered vascular grafts under flow perfusion

Pennings, I., van Haaften, E. E., Juengst, T., Bulsink, J. A., Rosenberg, A. J. W. P., Groll, J., Bouten, C. V. C., Kurniawan, N. A., Smits, A. I. P. M. & Gawlitta, D., Jan 2020, In : Biofabrication. 12, 1, 13 p., 015009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Blood Vessels
Cell Differentiation
1 Citation (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)

Cell-perceived substrate curvature dynamically coordinates the direction, speed, and persistence of stromal cell migration

Werner, M., Petersen, A., Kurniawan, N. & Bouten, C., 5 Sep 2019, In : Advanced Biosystems. 3, 10, 11 p., 1900080.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
Stromal Cells
Cell Movement
Mesenchymal Stromal Cells
Biocompatible Materials
2 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)

Cyclic strain affects macrophage cytokine secretion and ECM turnover in electrospun scaffolds

Bonito, V., de Kort, B., Bouten, C. & Smits, A. I. P. M., 1 Sep 2019, In : Tissue engineering. Part A. 25, 17-18, p. 1310-1325 16 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Military electronic countermeasures
Scaffolds (biology)
Tissue Engineering

Design of an affinity based cytokine release system to temporally control macrophage behavior

Lurier, E., Smits, A., Bouten, C. V. C. & Spiller, K. L., 1 Jan 2019, Society for Biomaterials Annual Meeting and Exposition 2019: The Pinnacle of Biomaterials Innovation and Excellence - Transactions of the 42nd Annual Meeting. Muttenz: Swiss Society for Biomaterials, p. 49 1 p. (Transactions of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Biomaterials and the Annual International Biomaterials Symposium; vol. 40).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

Behavior Control


Materials-driven regeneration

C.V.C. Bouten (Recipient), 2016

Prize: NWOGravitationScientific

selection procedure
Ministry of Education

Activities 1993 1993

  • 4 Contributed talk

16th Annual Int. Conf. IEEE Eng. in Medicine and Biology, San Diego, USA

Carlijn V.C. Bouten (Speaker)
29 Oct 1993

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific


Carlijn V.C. Bouten (Speaker)
5 Oct 1993

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

RL Maastricht

Carlijn V.C. Bouten (Speaker)
24 Sep 1993

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific

2e Plenaire wetenschappelijke dag RL/TUE, Eindhoven

Carlijn V.C. Bouten (Speaker)
17 Sep 1993

Activity: Talk or presentation typesContributed talkScientific


Heart and blood

1/09/15 → …



1/09/13 → …


Student theses

A 2-D finite element model of a muscle cell in agarose gel-matrix

Author: Tran, N. H., 29 Feb 2000

Supervisor: Baaijens, F. (Supervisor 1), Oomens, C. (Supervisor 2), Bouten, C. (Supervisor 2) & Breuls, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A 3-D finite element model of the tibialis anterior muscle of a rat: a contribution to pressure sores research

Author: Breuls, R., 31 Mar 1998

Supervisor: Janssen, J. (Supervisor 1), Oomens, C. (Supervisor 2), Bosboom, E. (Supervisor 2) & Bouten, C. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A brain chip to investigate neurite outgrowth by trapping cell-laden hydrogel beads in microsieves

Author: Labeur, T., 29 Aug 2019

Supervisor: Bouten, C. (Supervisor 1), Luttge, R. (Supervisor 2), Kurniawan, N. (Supervisor 2) & Bastiaens, A. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A finite element model to study the viability of muscle cells under compression

Author: Hendriks, F., 30 Jun 1999

Supervisor: Baaijens, F. (Supervisor 1), Oomens, C. (Supervisor 2), Bouten, C. (Supervisor 2) & Breuls, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master

A multilevel finite element method for studying muscle cell damage

Author: Sengers, B., 30 Nov 2000

Supervisor: Oomens, C. (Supervisor 1), Baaijens, F. (Supervisor 2), Bouten, C. (Supervisor 2) & Breuls, R. (Supervisor 2)

Student thesis: Master