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University Medical Center Groningen

Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine

The focus of the Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine Research Group (CAVAREM) is in Regenerative Medicine.

We aim define new modalities for the intervention and prevention of cardiovascular diseases through the organ-specific application of smart biomaterials, which is guided by the results of investigations on the micro environment and molecular and cellular pathways during (patho)physiological tissue repair.

Cavarem group 2011
Cavarem group 2011

General introduction - Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine

Organ and tissue damage, as the result of ischemic insult, fibrosis, or other, requires adequate repair i.e. regeneration. Regeneration of tissue damage is a complex process that involves inflammation, wound healing and remodeling. This processcomprises of a microenvironment in which an intricate interplay of cells, mediators and extracellular matrix accomplish regeneration. The post-damage microenvironment of tissues requires a stringent regulation, without which adverse reactions, such as fibrosis, may develop. In several diseases, tissue damage may extend beyond the intrinsic repair capacity of the human body. Therefore, Regenerative Medicine aims at the regeneration of damaged tissues or organs by employing and augmenting physiological regeneration mechanism by application of stem cells, mediators and biomaterials.

The application of (stem) cells requires appropriate guiding factors that provide instruction to these cells upon their administration in vivo, or their use to construct replacement tissue in vitro. A good understanding of the in vitro and in vivo plasticity of stem cells, in presence or absence of the post-damage microenvironment, will help the development of better regeneration therapies. In vitro, the construction of replacement tissue requires instructive 3-dimensional scaffolds that help to recreate the original tissue architecture, i.e. genuine tissue engineering. By themselves the biomaterials that are used to make scaffolds (e.g. solid or gel-like materials) elicit an inflammatory reponse upon implantation: the Foreign Body Reaction (FBR). The FBR can also be employed to augment regenerative therapies.

People involved in CAVAREM-research:

Name Position
Marja Brinker M.Sc.
Linda Brouwer Technician
Marco Harmsen Ph.D. Professor
Guido Krenning Ph.D.
Marja van Luyn Ph.D. Professor
Jan Renier Moonen Ph.D. student
Ewa Przybyt Ph.D. student
Mojtaba Parvizi Ph.D. student
Ghazaleh Hajmousa Ph.D. student


Marco C. Harmsen, PhD, Professor / Email: M.C. Harmsen

University Medical Center Groningen (UMCG)
Dept. Pathology and Medical Biology
Medical Biology division

Hanzeplein, 9713 GZ Groningen, The Netherlands

Telephone: +31-50-3614776 (secretary: +31-50-3618043)


Last modified:01 July 2021 2.15 p.m.