Stroke is a severe neurological disorder defined by loss of brain function caused by interrupted or severely impaired blood flow. Worldwide, stroke is classified as the second leading cause of death and is a major cause of permanent disability. Despite the high prevalence and devastating outcome, there are only few treatment options for ischemic stroke which are only available for a small subset of patients, highlighting the urgent need for new stroke therapies.
The focus of my research group is to explore possible new therapeutic strategies for ischemic stroke and investigate their mode of action. For example, we study the use of ‘insulin-like growth factor-2’ (IGF2) and magnetic stimulation (MS) as a therapy for ischemic stroke. Also, inhibitors of the acute inflammatory reaction after stroke are under investigation within our team. In collaboration with Prof A. Ethirajan (UHasselt) we develop stimuli-responsive nanoparticles to enhance angiogenesis.
Besides stroke, my lab has also a main interest in using (dental) stem cells for tissue regeneration. Hereby we focus on the use of extracellular vesicles derived from dental pulp stem cells, a project with dr. I Nelissen (VITO). In another project, we use tooth organoids, a technique developed in collaboration with Prof. H. Vankelecom (KU Leuven) and Prof. I.Lambrichts (UHasselt), for dental tissue regeneration.