Assistant/Associate Professors

Dr. Aart van Apeldoorn

Personal website:


Aart van Apeldoorn is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Developmental Bioengineering at the University of Twente (Enschede, The Netherlands). There, he leads the Islet Group, which aims to develop a bioartificial pancreas for extrahepatic Islet transplantation. His students work on developing technologies for pancreatic tissue engineering, biomaterials characterisation, advanced microscopic techniques, and some more basic research on the Islet extracellular matrix. Dr van Apeldoorn is currently the Chairman of the Steering Committee for the Diabetes Cell Therapy Initiative and maintains a number of international and national collaborations. In addition to his research activities, Dr van Apeldoorn is a coordinator of the Technical Medicine Masters programme, co-coordinator of the Imaging and Interventions Masters, and teaches a number of Masters and Bachelors students.


Before starting the Islet Group, Dr. van Apeldoorn was CEO and Founder of MicroCandela Systems. His PhD was titled, "Confocal Raman Microscopy: Applications in Tissue Engineering" and was supervised by Prof. Clemens van Blitterswijk and Dr. Cees Otto. His pre-doctoral training was in Biology at the University of Utrecht.


The Islet Group at the University of Twente is a part of the developmental bioengineering department and is currently led by Aart van Apeldoorn and consists of four PhD candidates and a number of Masters and undergraduates. We are part of the DCTI ( in the Netherlands and have a number of international and national collaborators.


We are always interested in hearing from talented PhD applicants who ideally have a relevant scientific background, but most importantly, can demonstrate their motivation to work on one of the research areas below. We also welcome enquiries from Post-Doctoral researchers with their own funding.

The group's research in tissue engineering for Type I diabetes focuses on four main areas:

  • Tissue engineering a bioartificial pancreas for extrahepatic Islet transplantation
     - Polymer scaffolds to improve Islet survival and 3D printing techniques for Islet transplantation
  • Biomaterials development for pancreatic tissue engineering
     - Microwell fabrication, microfluidics, and characterization of cell interactions with materials
  • Raman microscopy for tissue engineering applications
     - For identifying Islet biochemical markers, as well as other applications
  • Mimicking and understanding islet-extracellular matrix interactions
     - A new line of research is aimed at understanding the ECM requirements of Islets to create a better islet scaffold environment
  • Immunoprotection of donor islets using membranes 
     - Our newest line of research focused on the protection of Islets after transplantation with closed membrane based constructs to avoid T-cell interaction. JDRF funded encapsulation research consortium

Some of our collaborations:

Publications of interest


  • Buitinga M, Truckenmüller R, Engelse MA, Moroni L, ten Hoopen HWM, van Blitterswijk CA, de Koning EJP, van Apeldoorn AA, Karperien M. Microwell scaffolds for the extrahepatic transplantation of islets of Langerhans. PLoS One 2013; Accepted.
  • Spijker HS, Ravelli RBG, Mieke Mommaas-Kienhuis A, van Apeldoorn AA, Engelse MA, Zaldumbide A, Bonner-Weir S, Rabelink TJ, Hoeben RC, Clevers H, Mummery CL, Carlotti F, de Koning EJP. Conversion of mature human beta-cells into glucagon-producing alpha-cells. Diabetes 2013, In Press.
  • Masaeli E, Morshed M, Hossein Nasr-Esfahani M, Sadri S, Hilderink J, van Apeldoorn A, van Blitterswijk CA, Moroni L. Fabrication, characterization and cellular compatibility of poly(hydroxyl alkanoate) composite nanofibrous scaffolds for nerve tissue engineering. PloS One 2013; 8(2):e57157. 
  • Doorn J, Roberts SJ, Hilderink J, Groen N, van Apeldoorn A, van Blitterswijk C, Schrooten J, de Boer J. Insulin-like-growth-factor-I enhances proliferation and differentiation of human mesenchymal stromal cells in vitro. Tissue Engineering Part A; In Press.
  • Spitters TWGM, Leijten JCH, Deus FD, Costa IBF, van Apeldoorn AA, van Blitterswijk CA, Karperien HJB. A dual flow bioreactor with controlled mechanical stimulation for cartilage tissue engineering. Tissue Engineering Part C-Methods 2013; In Press.
  • Basalus MWZ, Tandjung K, Sen H, van Apeldoorn AA, Grijpma DW, von Birgelen C. Recent insights from scanning electron microscopic assessment of durable polymer-coated drug-eluting stents. Interventional Cardiology 2012;4(6):661-674. DOI: 10.2217/ica.12.67


  • Kunstar A, Leijten J, van Leuveren S, Hilderink J, Otto C, van Blitterswijk CA, Karperien M, van Apeldoorn AA. Recognizing different tissues in human fetal femur cartilage by label-free Raman microspectroscopy. Journal of Biomedical Optics 2012; 17(11):116012. PMID: 23117807
  • Berenschot EJ, Burouni N, Schurink B, van Honschoten JW, Sanders RG, Truckenmuller R, Jansen HV, Elwenspoek MC, van Apeldoorn AA, Tas NR. 3D Nanofabrication of Fluidic Components by Corner Lithography. Small 2012; In Press. PMID: 22907803
  • Moreira Teixeira LS, Leijten JCH, Sobral J, Jin R, van Apeldoorn AA, Feijen J, van Blitterswijk C, Dijkstra PJ, Karperien M. High throughput generated micro-aggregates of chondrocytes stimulate cartilage formation in vitro and in vivo. European Cells & Materials 2012;34:387-399. PMID: 22665161
  • Lourenco BN, Marchioli G, Song W, Reis RL, van Blitterswijk CA, Karperien M, van Apeldoorn A, Mano JF. Wettability influences cell behavior on superhydrophobic surfaces with different topographies. Biointerfaces 2012;7(1-4):46. PMID: 22833364
  • Basalus MW, Tandjung K, van Westen T, Sen H, van der Jagt PK, Grijpma DW, van Apeldoorn AA, von Birgelen C. Scanning electron microscopic assessment of coating irregularities and their precursors in unexpanded durable polymer-based drug-eluting stents. Catheterization and Cardiovascular Interventions 2012;79(4):644-653. PMID: 21805599
  • Lopez-Heredia MA, Sariibrahimoglu K, Yang W, Bohner M, Yamashita D, Kunstar A, van Apeldoorn AA, Bronkhorst EM, Lanao RP, Leeuwenburgh SC, Itatani K, Yang F, Salmon P, Wolke JG, Jansen JA. Influence of the pore generator on the evolution of the mechanical properties and the porosity and interconnectivity of a calcium phosphate cement. Acta Biomaterialia 2012;8(1):404-414. PMID: 21884833


  • Hazekamp J, Reed MG, Howard CV, van Apeldoorn AA, Otto C. The feasibility of Cryo In-SEM Raman microspectroscopy. Journal of Microscopy 2011;244(2):122–128. PMID: 21696391
  • Kunstar A, Otto C, Karperien M, van Blitterswijk C, van Apeldoorn A. Raman microspectroscopy: a noninvasive analysis tool for monitoring of collagen-containing extracellular matrix formation in a medium- throughput culture system. Tissue Engineering Part C: Methods 2011;17(7):737–744. PMID: 21410304
  • Basalus MWZ, Tandjung K, van Apeldoorn AA, Ankone MJK, Birgelen von C. Effect of oversized partial postdilatation on coatings of contemporary durable polymer-based drug-eluting stents: a scanning electron microscopy study. Journal of Interventional Cardiology 2011;24(2):149–161. PMID: 21198852
  • Both SK, van Apeldoorn AA, Jukes JM, Englund MC, Hyllner J, van Blitterswijk CA, de Boer J. Differential bone-forming capacity of osteogenic cells from either embryonic stem cells or bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells. Journal of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine 2011;5(3):180–190. PMID: 20718035

2007 and earlier

  • van Apeldoorn AA, de Boer J, van Steeg H, Hoeijmakers JHJ, Otto C, van Blitterswijk CA. Physicochemical composition of osteoporotic bone in the trichothiodystrophy premature aging mouse determined by confocal Raman microscopy. Journal of Gerontology: Medical Sciences 2007;62(1):34–40. PMID: 17301035
  • van Manen H-J, van Apeldoorn AA, Verrijk R, van Blitterswijk CA, Otto C. Intracellular degradation of microspheres based on cross-linked dextran hydrogels or amphiphilic block copolymers: a comparative raman microscopy study. International Journal of Nanomedicine 2007;2(2):241–252. PMID: 17722552
  • Wang J, van Apeldoorn A, de Groot K. Electrolytic deposition of calcium phosphate/chitosan coating on titanium alloy: growth kinetics and influence of current density, acetic acid, and chitosan. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A 2006;76(3):503–511. PMID: 16278873
  • van Apeldoorn AA, Aksenov Y, Stigter M, Hofland I, de Bruijn JD, Koerten HK, Otto C, Greve J, van Blitterswijk CA. Parallel high-resolution confocal Raman SEM analysis of inorganic and organic bone matrix constituents. Journal of the Royal Society: Interface 2005;2(2):39–45. PMID: 16849162
  • van Apeldoorn AA, van Manen H-J, Bezemer JM, de Bruijn JD, van Blitterswijk CA, Otto C. Raman imaging of PLGA microsphere degradation inside macrophages. Journal of the Americal Chemical Society 2004;126(41):13226–13227. PMID: 15479068
  • de Boer J, Siddappa R, Gaspar C, van Apeldoorn A, Fodde R, van Blitterswijk C. Wnt signaling inhibits osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells. Bone 2004;34(5):818–826. PMID: 15121013
  • Deschamps AA, van Apeldoorn AA, Hayen H, de Bruijn JD, Karst U, Grijpma DW, Feijen J. In vivo and in vitro degradation of poly(ether ester) block copolymers based on poly(ethylene glycol) and poly(butylene terephthalate). Biomaterials 2004;25(2):247–258. PMID: 14585712
  • Deschamps AA, van Apeldoorn AA, de Bruijn JD, Grijpma DW, Feijen J. Poly(ether ester amide)s for tissue engineering. Biomaterials 2003;24(15):2643–2652. PMID: 12726718


Department of Developmental Bioengineering
MIRA Institute for Biomedical Technology and Technical Medicine
University of Twente
Zuidhorst ZH145
Enschede 7522 NB
The Netherlands

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