Head of Department - university of twente
Passier was appointed as Professor and Chair of the Dept. of AST at the UT in 2015 and as Professor at Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) in 2017. At the UT and LUMC he combines human stem cell technologies and micro-engineering technologies in order to build highly advanced “heart-on-chip” systems (either 2D or 3D) for modelling cardiac disease, drug screening and regenerative medicine. Passier is leader of research theme “heart disease” of the Institute for Human Organ and Disease Model Technologies (hDMT). Passier is a co-founder of Pluriomics (2011) and River BioMedics (2018).
Fighting COVID-19 with organs on chips
The severity of the disruption of global healthcare systems and society worldwide by the COVID-19 pandemic knows few precedents. Because of the rapid spread of this new disease, physicians are partly working in the dark: little scientific data is available to support clinical decision making, especially when treating COVID-19 infected patients with comorbidities. This is not least because much remains unknown about the pathophysiology of the disease and the safety and efficacy of potential treatments. In particular, it is not understood why some COVID-19 patients show severe cardiac damage. Here I will discuss the use of human stem cell-based heart-on-chip models for a better understanding of how infection affects the heart and for evaluation of important COVID-19 pharmacotherapies currently under clinical investigation.