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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. 

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being


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  • Jury Award Best Scientific Paper

    van Vijven, Marc (Recipient), van Groningen, Bart (Recipient), Kimenai, Joyce N. (Recipient), van der Steen, Marieke C. (Recipient), van Doeselaar, Marina (Recipient), Janssen, Rob P.A. (Recipient), Ito, Keita (Recipient) & Foolen, Jasper (Recipient), 18 Mar 2021

    Prize: OtherCareer, activity or publication related prizes (lifetime, best paper, poster etc.)Scientific