Jasper Foolen


  • 432 Citations

Research output per year

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Personal profile


“The relation between structure, function and pain in tendon & ligament is complex to the level that one may wonder whether we are missing a variable in the equation” 

Research profile

Jasper Foolen is Assistant Professor at the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group of the department of Biomedical Engineering. His main research interest is mechanobiology and regenerative strategies of tendons and ligaments. Tendon and ligament injuries are involved in over 30% of all musculoskeletal consultations. Over the past decades there has been limited progress in the treatment of tendinopathy and connective tissue fibrosis (scarring). It suffers from poor innate regenerative capacity, the clinical outcome of surgical interventions has remained rather poor and there is controversy concerning adequate treatment.

In his research, Jasper Foolen explores the mechanobiological processes that initiate degeneration and promote healing of tendons and ligaments. Experimental platforms (e.g. biomimetic tendons and ligaments) are exploited in combination with numerical models, to develop strategies to improve the structure and functionality of affected tendons and ligaments.

Current projects are concerned with the role of cellular junctions in tendon tissue organization, and the impact of cellular organization in 3D tissue on the healing capacity of tendon-derived cells. 

Academic background

Jasper Foolen studied Mechanical Engineering at Fontys University for Higher Education (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) and obtained his BSc in 2000. He then started his study in Biomedical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) where he obtained his BSc in 2003 and his MSc in 2005. From 2005 – 2009, he was a PhD student at the TU/e research group Orthopedic Biomechanics. In 2009 Foolen obtained his PhD with his thesis 'How periosteum is involved in long bone growth' under supervision of professors Keita Ito, Rik Huiskes and René van Donkelaar. From 2009 – 2013, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the TU/e research group for Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Engineering. In 2013 Foolen moved to Switzerland to become a Marie Curie Fellow at the Lab of Applied Mechanobiology at ETH Zurich. From 2015 – 2016, he was Group Leader at the Lab for Orthopaedic Biomechanics of University Hospital Balgrist / ETH Zurich. In 2016 Jasper Foolen was appointed Assistant Professor in Tendon and Ligament Mechanobiology at the TU/e research group Orthopedic Biomechanics. 

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Research Output

European Society of Biomechanics SM Perren Award 2010 : an adaptation mechanism for fibrous tissue to sustained shortening

Foolen, J., Donkelaar, van, C. C., Soekhradj - Soechit, R. S. & Ito, K., 2010, In : Journal of Biomechanics. 43, 16, p. 3168-3176

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 23 Citations (Scopus)

    Tendon injury and repair - A perspective on the basic mechanisms of tendon disease and future clinical therapy

    Snedeker, J. G. & Foolen, J., 1 Nov 2017, In : Acta Biomaterialia. 63, p. 18-36 19 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 55 Citations (Scopus)
    374 Downloads (Pure)

    The influence of matrix integrity on stress-fiber remodeling in 3D

    Foolen, J., Deshpande, V. S., Kanters, F. M. W. & Baaijens, F. P. T., Oct 2012, In : Biomaterials. 33, 30, p. 7508-7518 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 50 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)

    Tissue alignment enhances remodeling potential of tendon-derived cells - lessons from a novel microtissue model of tendon scarring

    Foolen, J., Wunderli, S. L., Loerakker, S. & Snedeker, J. G., Jan 2018, In : Matrix Biology. 65, p. 14-29 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 15 Citations (Scopus)
    93 Downloads (Pure)

    Full-length fibronectin drives fibroblast accumulation at the surface of collagen microtissues during cell-induced tissue morphogenesis

    Foolen, J., Shiu, J-Y., Mitsi, M., Zhang, Y., Chen, C. & Vogel, V., 2016, In : PLoS ONE. 11, 8, p. 1-24 e0160369.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Open Access
  • 8 Citations (Scopus)
    76 Downloads (Pure)


    EORS Congress 2019

    Rob P.A. Janssen (Chair), Jasper Foolen (Chair)
    2 Oct 20194 Oct 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesConferenceScientific

    Student theses

    A microtissue platform as screening method for ACL reconstructive surgery outcome: towards personalized rehabilitation

    Author: Kimenai, J., 30 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: Ito, K. (Supervisor 1), van der Steen, M. (External person) (External coach) & Foolen, J. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    Comparing heart assist devices, using a lumped parameter model and mock-loop

    Author: van de Meerakker, T., 30 Jan 2020

    Supervisor: van de Vosse, F. N. (Supervisor 1), Rutten, M. C. (Supervisor 2), van Dort, D. (External person) (External coach), Foolen, J. (Supervisor 2) & Peij, K. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master


    Gap junctions knock-down and their role in 3D micro-tendon compaction

    Author: Verhoeven, L., 27 Feb 2020

    Supervisor: Foolen, J. (Supervisor 1) & van Vijven, M. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    Mechanical behaviour of porcine knee perichondrium during embryonic development

    Author: Boumans, J., 28 Feb 2007

    Supervisor: Huiskes, H. (Supervisor 1), van Donkelaar, C. (Supervisor 2), Oomens, C. (Supervisor 2) & Foolen, J. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    Taking the orientation score framework one step further: from theory to applications in biomedical engineering

    Author: Levink, J., 31 Aug 2009

    Supervisor: ter Haar Romenij, B. (Supervisor 1), Kanters, F. (Supervisor 2), Duits, R. (Supervisor 2), van Donkelaar, C. (Supervisor 2) & Foolen, J. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master