Molecular Cell Biology

Molecular Imaging of Cardiovascular Disease Processes


The Molecular Imaging group aims at creating an advanced optical imaging platform for studying (sub)cellular processes in health and disease, with a focus on cardiovascular biology and pathology. A whole range of microscopic technologies, including widefield (spectroscopic) fluorescence, confocal, (resonant scanning) multiphoton, and super-resolution STED is developed and applied to cells and tissues. The created platform is available to researchers from research schools within Maastricht and for external users. Furthermore, the platform is taking part in the Euro-BioImaging node “Excellence in Imaging” Maastricht, of which Prof. van Zandvoort is the Node leader.

Key publications

  1. A. Schueth, B. Spronck, W. Buurman, M.A. M. J. van Zandvoort, G. A. van Koeveringe. Age-related changes in murine bladder structure and sensory innervation: a multiphoton microscopy quantitative analysis. Age 2016 Feb;38(1):17 IF=4.1
  2. A. Gemmink, M. Bosma, H. Kuijpers, J. Hoeks, G. Schaart, M.A.M.J. van Zandvoort, P. Schrauwen, M. Hesselink. Decoration of intramyocellular lipid droplets with PLIN5 modulates fasting-induced insulin resistance and lipotoxicity in humans. Diabetologia. 2016 May;59(5): 1040-8 IF=6.7
  3. Sabine Daemen, Marc A.M.J. van Zandvoort, Matthijs K.C. Hesselink. Microscopy tools for the investigation of intracellular lipid storage and dynamics. Mol Metab. 2015 Dec 31;5(3):153-63 IF=5.5
  4. T. Lammers, P. Koczera, S. Fokong, F. Gremse, J. Ehling, M. Vogt, A. Pich, G. Storm, M. A.M.J. van Zandvoort, Fabian Kiessling. Theranostic USPIO-loaded microbubbles for mediating and monitoring blood-brain barrier permeation. Adv Funct Mater. 2015; 25(1):36-43. IF=10.4
  5. A. Baleanu-Curaj, Z. Wu, T. Lammers, C. Weber, M. van Zandvoort, F. Kiessling. Non-invasive molecular ultrasound monitoring of vessel healing following intravascular surgical procedures. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. 2015; 35(6): 1366-1373. IF=7.2
  6. M. Schmitt, R. Megens, A. Zernecke, K. Bidzhekov, N. van den Akker, T. Rademakers, M. van Zandvoort, T. Hackeng, R. Koenen, C. Weber. Endothelial JAM-A Guides Monocytes into Flow-Dependent Predilection Sites of Atherosclerosis. Circ. 2014, 129(1):66-76 IF=15.2
  7. U. Sadat, F. Jaffer, M. van Zandvoort, S. Nicholls, D. Ribatti, J. Gillard. Inflammation and neovascularization intertwined in atherosclerosis: Imaging of structural and molecular imaging targets. Circ. 2014, 130(9):786-94 IF=15.2
  8. X. Li, M. Zhu, M. Penfold, R. Koenen, A. Thiemann, K. Heyll, S. Akhtar, S. Koyadan, Z. Wu, F. Gremse, F. Kiessling, M. van Zandvoort, T. Schall, C. Weber, A. Schober. Activation of CXCR7 limits atherosclerosis and improves hyperlipidemia by increasing cholesterol uptake in adipose tissue.  Circ. 2014, 129(11):1244-53 IF=15.2
  9. T. Rademakers, K. Douma, T. Hackeng, E. Biessen, M. Post, S. Heeneman, M. van Zandvoort. Insights into plaque-associated neovascularization: assessment of structural and functional characteristics of plaque-associated microvasculature in mouse models of atherosclerosis. ATVB 2013:33(2): 249-56 IF=7.2
  10. Z. Wu, A. Baleanu-Curaj, T. Lammers, F. Kiessling, M. van Zandvoort. Rhodamine-loaded intercellular adhesion molecule-1-targeted microbubbles for dual-modality imaging under controlled shear stresses – A model study for atherosclerosis. Circulation Cardiovascular Imaging 2013 6:974-981 IF=6.6

Team leader

Prof. Marc van Zandvoort
T: (+31) (0)43 3881361

Research group

Technician: Helma Kuijpers

Post-docs: Dimitris Kapsokalyvas, PhD (Ziegler-Natta Catalysis, Biomass, expert microscopy), Chiara Recarti, PhD (micro-vesicles in atherosclerosis, cooperation with Dr. V. Ridger, Sheffield University)

PhD students: Adelina Curaj (combined ultrasound and microscopy in atherosclerosis, cooperation with Prof. F. Kiessling, Uniklinikum Aachen), Cheng Feng Zhang (lamin super-resolution imaging)