Postdoctoral researcher on the project 'Plaque on a chip'

Postdoctoral researcher on the project 'Plaque on a chip'

Published Deadline Location
13 Jun 10 Jul Rotterdam

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Job description

A new and exciting research collaboration between Eindhoven University of Technology and Erasmus Medical Center focuses on the development of the 'plaque-on-a-chip' model. We are seeking an ambitious post-doc to develop this platform and generate unique experimental data.

Rupture of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques is the underlying cause of the majority of acute cardiovascular events. Vulnerable plaques are characterized by the lipid-rich necrotic core which is separated from the arterial lumen by a thin fibrous cap. Rupture of the fibrous cap will expose the underlying necrotic tissue to blood, potentially leading to a thrombotic event. The process of plaque rupture is poorly understood. The goal of this project is to develop a plaque-on-a-chip model: an in vitro platform of a human-like atherosclerotic plaque to study plaque rupture.

We aim to create a reproducible and relevant analogue of a human vulnerable plaque that can be mechanically loaded, and visualized with microscopy. Plaque composition will be modulated with respect to collagen and smooth muscle cell concentration and organization. A necrotic core with tunable mechanical properties will be included in the construct. A straining device will be used to generate human smooth muscle cell-populated hydrogels to generate collagenous tissues with dimensions similar to human plaques. By using a light-inducible recombinant collagen hydrogel, the stiffness of the construct can be tuned locally to mimic a lipid core inside the plaque. The resulting plaque-on-a-chip will be subjected to rupture experiments.


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)


We are accepting applications from enthusiastic candidates who are interested in a dynamic, stimulating and ambitious environment to perform their research. The candidate should have a PhD in Biomedical Engineering, or an equivalent area, with a background in soft tissue engineering and mechanics. The candidate should be able to effectively communicate scientific ideas, foster collaboration and have a capability for independent thinking. Moreover, the candidate should be able to work independently within a dynamic team and be skilled in written and spoken English.

Being able to present a certificate of good conduct, a valid proof of identity, diploma's and/ or relevant registration such as BIG/ RGS are conditions for the appointment.

Conditions of employment

The appointment will be on a full-time basis and will initially be for 18 months. The gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 4.216,- (scale 10), depending on your level of education and relevant experience and based on a full-time working week of 36 hours. The terms of employment are in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement for University Medical Centers (CAO UMC).


Erasmus MC

Erasmus MC stands for a healthy population and excellence in healthcare. By conducting groundbreaking work, we aim to push boundaries through leading the way in research, education and healthcare. We have access to the latest equipment and techniques in a state-of-the-art environment.

In the light of this new collaboration, the candidate will be based at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands. TU/e has a strategic focus on Health, Energy and Mobility. Within the Health area, several departments collaborate on topics such as Chemical Biology, Regenerative Medicine, Computational Biology, and Biosensing, with close links to healthcare and industry. The research will be mainly conducted within the Soft Tissue Engineering and Mechanobiology (STEM) group in the Department of Biomedical Engineering. The STEM group, headed by Prof.dr. C.V.C. Bouten, concentrates on the engineering of soft tissues, aimed at either the replacement of diseased or malformed tissues, or the development of in-vitro model systems of developing tissues. Important fundamental research lines concern the biophysical (stem) cell niche and the mechanobiology of tissue organization. Results are used to design novel approaches of in-situ tissue regeneration, with principle application in the cardiovascular area (heart valves and vessels) and organ regeneration (heart, kidney). The group houses the Cell and Tissue Engineering laboratory, a shared research infrastructure operating at the international forefront of the engineering of living, load-bearing tissues. The research will be carried out in close collaboration Frank Gijsen from the Department of Biomedical Engineering of the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.


  • Postdoc positions
  • Health
  • max. 36 hours per week, temporary
  • €2659—€4216 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 24.15.18.TT-P389355-1


Erasmus MC (University Medical Center Rotterdam)

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's-Gravendijkwal 230, 3015 CE, Rotterdam

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