• 4480 Citations

Research output per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile


Bone cells are the engineers of bone. They build new bone or break it down in reaction to their environment, keeping the bone healthy or causing a disease. But how exactly do they interact with each other?

Research profile

Sandra Hofmann is an Associate Professor in Bioengineering Bone at the Orthopaedic Biomechanics research group. Her current research focuses on bioengineering skeletal tissues, in particular bone. A special focus lies on visualization and understanding of how cells react to environmental and influential parameters (chemical, mechanical, other cells) in tissue-engineered in vitro models of bone tissue. 

Bone diseases are multifaceted and can have a highly deleterious impact on life and society. Moreover, ageing of the population imposes us with increasing numbers of persons suffering from skeletal issues. It is well known that a varying environment (cellular, chemical, mechanical environment) can have substantial effects on bone cells. The goal of her research is to develop a human cell-based, functional, 3D in vitro model of bone. It should allow studying interactions between the various cell types within bone, but also the differences between cells from various (human) donors (healthy vs diseased, young vs aged). To address this, bioreactors have been developed for longitudinal imaging of the mineralized extracellular matrix development by cells, using micro-computed tomography. Computational approaches are used to describe these environments and to predict tissue formation in vitro. 

Academic background

Sandra Hofmann obtained her MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Basel, Switzerland in 2002. After a scientific visit to Prof. David Kaplan’s lab at Tufts University in Boston, she completed her PhD (with distinction) at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zürich in 2007, working on 'Silk fibroin as a biomaterial for drug delivery and tissue engineering'. Subsequently, she moved to the Group of Prof. Ralph Müller at the ETH's Institute for Biomechanics to focus her studies on imaging methods and bioreactor design. In 2010 Hofmann became group leader of the Skeletal Tissue Engineering Group as a Senior Research Associate. She became an assistant professor at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in 2013 and obtained tenure in 2016. Currently, she is an associate professor in Bioengineering Bone at the Orthopaedic Biomechanics Group and a core member of the Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) at the TU/e. 

Among others, Sandra Hofmann has obtained an ERC starting grant (2013), a Marie Curie Career integration grant (2013), a Women in Science Grant (2014) and recently she was awarded an NWO Vidi grant (2018).

Affiliated with

· Orthopaedic Biomechanics Group (Biomedical Engineering Department, TU/e)

· Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS) 


Partners in (semi-)industry

· BonAlive

· Osteo-Pharma 

External positions

ETH Zurich

1 Oct 200731 Aug 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Sandra Hofmann is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 29 Similar Profiles

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

Research Output

Flow velocity-driven differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells in silk fibroin scaffolds: A combined experimental and computational approach

Vetsch, J. R., Betts, D. C., Müller, R. & Hofmann, S., 1 Jul 2017, In : PLoS ONE. 12, 7, 17 p., e0180781.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Open Access
  • 19 Citations (Scopus)
    147 Downloads (Pure)

    Remodeling of tissue-engineered bone structures in vivo

    Hofmann, S., Hilbe, M., Fajardo, R., Hagenmüller, H., Nuss, K., Arras, M., Müller, R., Rechenberg, von, B., Kaplan, D. L., Merkle, H. P. & Meinel, L., 2013, In : European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics. 85, 1, p. 119-129

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 35 Citations (Scopus)
    4 Downloads (Pure)

    Control of in vitro tissue-engineered bone-like structures using human mesenchymal stem cells and porous silk scaffolds

    Hofmann, S., Hagenmüller, H., Koch, A. M., Müller, R., Vunjak-Novakovic, G., Kaplan, D. L., Merkle, H. P. & Meinel, L., 2007, In : Biomaterials. 28, 6, p. 1152-1162 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 269 Citations (Scopus)
    6 Downloads (Pure)

    Non-invasive time-lapsed monitoring and quantification of engineered bone-like tissue

    Hagenmüller, H., Hofmann, S., Kohler, T., Merkle, H. P., Kaplan, D. L., Vunjak-Novakovic, G., Müller, R. & Meinel, L., 2007, In : Annals of Biomedical Engineering. 35, 10, p. 1657-1667 11 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 43 Citations (Scopus)
    3 Downloads (Pure)

    The inflammatory responses to silk films in vitro and in vivo

    Meinel, L., Hofmann, S., Karageorgiou, V., Kirker-Head, C., McCool, J., Gronowicz, G., Zichner, L., Langer, R., Vunjak-Novakovic, G. & Kaplan, D. L., 2005, In : Biomaterials. 26, 2, p. 147-155

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

  • 573 Citations (Scopus)


    An ex vivo platform to screen drug effects on bone

    Sandra Hofmann (Recipient), 20 Apr 2020

    Prize: ERCProof of conceptScientific

  • Intentional control of mineralized ECM deposition in bone tissue engineering

    Sandra Hofmann (Recipient), 1 Sep 2013

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

  • NWO Vidi Award : A miniature bone model

    S. Hofmann (Recipient), 29 May 2018

    Prize: NWOVidiScientific

  • Real-time monitoring of load induced remodeling in tissue-engineered bone

    S. Hofmann (Recipient), 2013

    Prize: ERCStartingScientific

  • Courses

    Basic tissue engineering

    1/09/13 → …



    1/09/15 → …


    Bone structure and function

    1/09/14 → …


    Press / Media

    Kunnen wetenschappers het lichaam helpen zichzelf te genezen?

    Sandra Hofmann & Anthal I.P.M. Smits


    1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

    Student theses

    3D human osteoblast - osteoclast in vitro co-culture

    Author: Remmers, S. & Mayer, D., 2019

    Supervisor: Remmers, S. (Supervisor 1), Melke, J. (Supervisor 1), Hofmann, S. (Supervisor 1), Ito, K. (Supervisor 1) & Teuschl, A. (External person) (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    Gas plasma modification for in situ tissue engineering

    Author: Driessen, R., 31 Mar 2015

    Supervisor: Bouten, C. (Supervisor 1), Sahlgren, C. (Supervisor 2), Hofmann Boss, S. (Supervisor 2), Smits, P. (Supervisor 2) & Stevens, A. (External person) (External coach)

    Student thesis: Master

    Predicting wall-shear-stress-dependent in vitro tissue growth using multiscale in silico models

    Author: Lauwers, I., 26 Mar 2020

    Supervisor: Hofmann, S. (Supervisor 1), Zhao, F. (Supervisor 2), de Wildt, B. W. (Supervisor 2) & Ito, K. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master

    Preparation of a 3D vascularized in vitro bone model using cell sheet engineering and a pre-seeded silk fibroin microtube vessel

    Author: Vis, M., 28 Mar 2019

    Supervisor: Melke, J. (Supervisor 1) & Hofmann, S. (Supervisor 2)

    Student thesis: Master