Dr Bart Spronck is Assistant Professor in the field of arterial biomechanics at CARIM. As a multidisciplinary researcher, Bart aims to combine and integrate clinical and engineering research. Bart is committed to disentangling the problem of arterial stiffening, by studying it structurally and functionally, pre-clinically as well as clinically. The combination of state-of-the-art measurement techniques with constitutive computer modelling enables him to mechanically understand the changes occurring in the ageing arterial wall.
Bart studied Medical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology, where he obtained his MSc degree in 2011. He spent the last year of his MSc programme at Dept. of Biomedical Engineering at CARIM, where, after a one-year Kootstra Talent Fellowship, he started his PhD on arterial stiffening in 2012. After obtaining his PhD (2016) and a short, second Kootstra Talent Fellowship thereafter, he joined the lab of Prof Alberto Avolio at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia as a postdoc on a six-month Endeavour Fellowship. On this fellowship, he studied the heart rate and blood pressure dependence of arterial stiffness. In 2017, Bart moved to the United States to join the lab of Prof Jay Humphrey at Yale University, for which he obtained funding through NWO Rubicon and Marie Curie Individual – Global Fellowships. At Yale, he worked on the biomechanical characterisation of aortic remodelling in hypertension, ageing, and Marfan syndrome. As of 2021, Bart is back at CARIM as an Assistant Professor, where he is studying arterial stiffening in hypertension, diabetes, and other disease models. As of 2022, Bart is also an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Macquarie University, Sydney Australia.
During his career, Bart has developed a novel, state-of-the-art experimental testing set-up (DynamX, http://www.dynamx.info) for in vitro testing of arteries under tightly-controlled pulsatile conditions. By combining the data from this set-up with constitutive modelling of the artery wall, Bart has established the importance of pulsatile loading on arterial mechanics, and is able to unravel the individual arterial layers’ and components’ contributions to overall arterial mechanics. Bart collaborates with many researchers within CARIM as well as beyond, to use DynamX to characterise arterial mechanics in a variety of diseases.
Bart is Chair of the European Society of Hypertension (ESH) Working Group on Large Arteries, Executive Committee member of the ARTERY Society, Editorial Board Member of Artery Research, and member of two Working Groups of EU COST action 18216 VascAgeNet.