Laboratory for research in ischemic stroke, stem cells & angiogenesis (LISSA)

"Finding new solutions for ischemic stroke"

"Promoting blood vessels growth where needed"

Prof. dr. Annelies Bronckaers

Ischemic stroke
Stem cells
Tissue regeneration
Low-frequency electromagnetic stimulation


+32 (11) 26 92 23

Orcid id 
Research gate

Research focus

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.

Core Techniques

  • Ischemic stroke mouse model: dMCAO
    In vitro angiogenesis models: endothelial cell proliferation, migration, tube formation

  • In vitro life cell imaging (Incucyte) of endothelial cells but also keratinocytes, and neural stem cells

  • Mouse matrigel and wound healing model

  • (Mesenchymal/dental) stem cell characterisation and differentiation

  • Extracellular vesicle isolation and characterization (NTA, TEM, WB,…)

  • Tooth organoids

  • Confocal and light sheet microscopy

  • Transmission electron microscopy of extracellular vesicles, organoids but also other structures

Team Members

Key Publications

  1. Yshii L., Pasciuto E, ……, Bronckaers A , Lemmens R. …., Holt G and Liston A. (2022) Astrocyte-targeted gene delivery of interleukin 2 specifically increases brain-resident regulatory T cell numbers and protects against pathological neuroinflammation, Nature Immunology, accepted on 11/03/22 IF:53, Q1

  2. Kemps H, Dessy C, Dumas L, Sonveaux P, Alders L, Van Broeckhoven J, Font LP, Lambrichts S, Foulquier S, Hendrix S, Brône B, Lemmens R, Bronckaers A. (2022) Extremely low frequency electromagnetic stimulation reduces ischemic stroke volume by improving cerebral collateral blood flow. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. IF:6.2 Q1

  3. Kemps H, Gervois P, Brône B, Lemmens R, Bronckaers A (2022). Non-invasive brain stimulation as therapeutic approach for ischemic stroke: Insights into the (sub)cellular mechanisms. Pharmacology and therapeutics, IF:12.31 Q1

  4. Hemeryck L, Hermans F, Chappell J, Kobayashi H, Lambrechts D, Lambrichts I, Bronckaers A, Vankelecom H (2022). Organoids from human tooth showing epithelial stemness phenotype and differentiation potential. Cell Mol Life Sci. 26;79(3):153. IF:9.26, Q1

  5. Zong C, Bronckaers A, Vande Velde G, Willems G, Cadenas de Llano-Pérula M. (2022) In Vivo Micro-Computerized Tomography Tracking of Human Periodontal Ligament Stem Cells Labeled with Gold Nanocomplexes. Advanced Healthcare Materials, IF:11.2 Q1

  6. Merckx G, Lo Monaco M, Lambrichts I, Himmelreich U, Bronckaers A*, Wolfs E* (2021) Safety and Homing of Human Dental Pulp Stromal Cells in Head and Neck Cancer. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports IF: 6.692 Q1v, *shared last authors

  7. Merckx G, Hosseinkhani B, Kuypers S, Deville S, Irobi J, Nelissen I, Michiels L, Lambrichts I, Bronckaers A. (2020) Angiogenic Effects of Human Dental Pulp and Bone Marrow-Derived Mesenchymal Stromal Cells and their Extracellular Vesicles. IF: 6.6 Q1

  8. Ratajczak J, Vangansewinkel T, Gervois P, Merckx G, Hilkens P, Quirynen M, Lambrichts I, Bronckaers A(2018) Angiogenic Properties of 'Leukocyte- and Platelet-Rich Fibrin. Scientific Reports Oct 2;8(1):14632. IF:4.2 Q1

Press and science communication