Bart Spronck

Assistant Professor

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.

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Universiteitssingel 50, 6229 ER Maastricht
PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht
Room number: H3.356
T: +31 43 388 1657

  • 2019
    • Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Delhaas, ET., Lumens, J., Huberts, W., Spronck, B., Hughes, A. D., & Reesink, K. D. (2019). Augmentation index is not a proxy for wave reflection magnitude: mechanistic analysis using a computational model. Journal of Applied Physiology, 127(2), 491-500. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00769.2018
    • Tonhajzerova, I., Olexova, L. B., Jurko, A., Spronck, B., Jurko, T., Sekaninova, N., Visnovcova, Z., Mestanikova, A., Kudela, E., & Mestanik, M. (2019). Novel Biomarkers of Early Atherosclerotic Changes for Personalised Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease in Cervical Cancer and Human Papillomavirus Infection. International journal of molecular sciences, 20(15), Article 3720. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20153720
    • Desjardins, M.-P., Sidibé, A., Fortier, C., Mac-Way, F., De Serres, S., Larivière, R., Spronck, B., Goupil, R., & Agharazii, M. (2019). Impact of kidney transplantation on aortic stiffness and aortic stiffness index β0. Journal of Hypertension, 37(7), 1521-1528. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002058
    • Hansen, J., Galatioto, J., Caescu, C. I., Arnaud, P., Calizo, R. C., Spronck, B., Murtada, S.-I., Borkar, R., Weinberg, A., Azeloglu, E. U., Bintanel-Morcillo, M., Gallo, J. M., Humphrey, J. D., Jondeau, G., Boileau, C., Ramirez, F., & Iyengar, R. (2019). Systems pharmacology-based integration of human and mouse data for drug repurposing to treat thoracic aneurysms. JCI INSIGHT, 4(11), Article 027652. https://doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.127652
    • Reesink, K. D., & Spronck, B. (2019). Constitutive interpretation of arterial stiffness in clinical studies: a methodological review. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 316(3), H693-H709. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00388.2018
  • 2018
    • Butlin, M., Shirbani, F., Barin, E., Tan, I., Spronck, B., & Avolio, A. P. (2018). Cuffless Estimation of Blood Pressure: Importance of Variability in Blood Pressure Dependence of Arterial Stiffness Across Individuals and Measurement Sites. Ieee Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 65(11), 2377-2383. https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2018.2823333
    • Jurko, T., Mestanik, M., Jurko, A., Spronck, B., Avolio, A., Mestanikova, A., Sekaninova, N., & Tonhajzerova, I. (2018). Pediatric reference values for arterial stiffness parameters cardio-ankle vascular index and CAVI0. Journal of the American Society of Hypertension, 12(11), e35-e43. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jash.2018.10.003
    • Spronck, B., Avolio, A. P., Tan, I., Butlin, M., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2018). Reply: Medical science is based on facts and evidence. Journal of Hypertension, 36(4), 960-962. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000001660
    • Spronck, B. (2018). Stiff vessels approached in a flexible way: Advancing quantification and interpretation of arterial stiffness. Artery Research, 21, 63-68. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2017.11.006
    • Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Quicken, S., Holtackers, R. J., Huberts, W., Reesink, K. D., Delhaas, T., & Spronck, B. (2018). Uncertainty quantification and sensitivity analysis of an arterial wall mechanics model for evaluation of vascular drug therapies. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 17(1), 55-69. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10237-017-0944-0
    • Tan, I., Butlin, M., Spronck, B., Xiao, H., & Avolio, A. (2018). Effect of Heart Rate on Arterial Stiffness as Assessed by Pulse Wave Velocity. Current hypertension reviews, 14(2), 107-122. https://doi.org/10.2174/1573402113666170724100418
  • 2017
    • Mestanik, M., Jurko, A., Spronck, B., Avolio, A. P., Butlin, M., Jurko, T., Visnovcova, Z., Mestanikova, A., Langer, P., & Tonhajzerova, I. (2017). Improved assessment of arterial stiffness using corrected cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI0) in overweight adolescents with white-coat and essential hypertension. Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, 77(8), 665-672. https://doi.org/10.1080/00365513.2017.1397286
    • Schueth, A., Spronck, B., van Zandvoort, M. A. M. J., & van Koeveringe, G. A. (2017). Computer-assisted three-dimensional tracking of sensory innervation in the murine bladder mucosa with two-photon microscopy. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 85, 43-49. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jchemneu.2017.06.006
    • Spronck, B., Mestanik, M., Tonhajzerova, I., Jurko, A., Jurko, T., Avolio, A. P., & Butlin, M. (2017). Direct means of obtaining CAVI0-a corrected cardio-ankle vascular stiffness index (CAVI)-from conventional CAVI measurements or their underlying variables. Physiological Measurement, 38(10), N128-N137. https://doi.org/10.1088/1361-6579/aa8981
    • Spronck, B., Delhaas, T., De Lepper, A. G. W., Giroux, J., Goldwasser, F., Boutouyrie, P., Alivon, M., & Reesink, K. D. (2017). Patient-specific blood pressure correction technique for arterial stiffness: evaluation in a cohort on anti-angiogenic medication. Hypertension Research, 40(8), 752-757. https://doi.org/10.1038/hr.2017.32
    • Spronck, B., Avolio, A. P., Tan, I., Butlin, M., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2017). Reply: physics cannot be disputed. Journal of Hypertension, 35(7), 1523-1525. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000001350
    • Bloksgaard, M., Leurgans, T. M., Spronck, B., Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Thorsted, B., Rosenstand, K., Nissen, I., Hansen, U. M., Brewer, J. R., Bagatolli, L. A., Rasmussen, L. M., Irmukhamedov, A., Reesink, K. D., & De Mey, J. G. R. (2017). Imaging and modeling of acute pressure-induced changes of collagen and elastin microarchitectures in pig and human resistance arteries. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 313(1), H164-H178. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00110.2017
    • Segers, P., O'Rourke, M. F., Parker, K., Westerhof, N., Hughes, A., Participants 2016 Workshop, Spronck, B., & Reesink, K. (2017). Towards a consensus on the understanding and analysis of the pulse waveform: Results from the 2016 Workshop on Arterial Hemodynamics: Past, present and future. Artery Research, 18, 75-80. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.artres.2017.03.004
    • Spronck, B., Avolio, A. P., Tan, I., Butlin, M., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2017). Arterial stiffness index beta and cardio-ankle vascular index inherently depend on blood pressure but can be readily corrected. Journal of Hypertension, 35(1), 98-104. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000001132
    • Spronck, B., Delhaas, T., Butlin, M., Reesink, K., & Aviolo, A. P. (2017). Options for Dealing with Pressure Dependence of Pulse Wave Velocity as a Measure of Arterial Stiffness: An Update of Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI) and CAVI0. Pulse, 5(1-4), 106-114. https://doi.org/10.1159/000479322
  • 2016
    • Holtackers, R. J., Spronck, B., Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Crombag, G., op het Roodt, J., Delhaas, T., Kooi, E., Reesink, K. D., & Hermeling, E. (2016). Head orientation should be considered in ultrasound studies on carotid artery distensibility. Journal of Hypertension, 34(8), 1551-1555. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000000985
    • Tan, I., Spronck, B., Kiat, H., Barin, E., Reesink, K. D., Delhaas, T., Avolio, A. P., & Butlin, M. (2016). Heart Rate Dependency of Large Artery Stiffness. Hypertension, 68(1), 236-242. https://doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.116.07462
    • Upendra Walavalkar, V., Evers, E., Pujar, S., Viralam, K., Maiya, S., Frerich, S., John, C., Rao, S., Reddy, C., Spronck, B., Prinzen, F., Delhaas, T., & Vanagt, W. Y. (2016). Preoperative Sildenafil administration in children undergoing cardiac surgery: a randomized controlled preconditioning study. European Journal of Cardio-Thoracic Surgery, 49(5), 1403-1410. https://doi.org/10.1093/ejcts/ezv353
    • Spronck, B., Megens, R. T. A., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2016). A method for three-dimensional quantification of vascular smooth muscle orientation: application in viable murine carotid arteries. Biomechanics and modeling in mechanobiology, 15(2), 419-432. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10237-015-0699-4
    • Spronck, B., Delhaas, T., op het Roodt, J., & Reesink, K. D. (2016). Carotid Artery Applanation Tonometry Does Not Cause Significant Baroreceptor Activation. American Journal of Hypertension, 29(3), 299-302. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpv064
    • Schueth, A., Spronck, B., van Zandvoort, M. A. M. J., & van Koeveringe, G. A. (2016). Age-related changes in murine bladder structure and sensory innervation: a multiphoton microscopy quantitative analysis. Age, 38(1), Article 17. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11357-016-9878-1
    • Spronck, B., Walmsley, J., Palau-Caballero, G., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2016). Can significance of aortic sinus vortices be assessed using the assumptions in the model of Aboelkassem et al.?Journal of Theoretical Biology, 389, 304-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jtbi.2015.05.032
  • 2015
    • Spronck, B., Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Donders, W. P., de Lepper, A. G. W., Op't Roodt, J., Kroon, A. A., Delhaas, T., & Reesink, K. D. (2015). A constitutive modeling interpretation of the relationship among carotid artery stiffness, blood pressure, and age in hypertensive subjects. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 308(6), H568-H582. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00290.2014
    • Spronck, B., Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Vanmolkot, F. H., 't Roodt, J. O., Hermeling, E., Delhaas, T., Kroon, A. A., & Reesink, K. D. (2015). Pressure-dependence of arterial stiffness: potential clinical implications. Journal of Hypertension, 33(2), 330-338. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000000407
  • 2014
    • Spronck, B., Merken, J. J., Reesink, K. D., Kroon, W., & Delhaas, T. (2014). Ureter Smooth Muscle Cell Orientation in Rat Is Predominantly Longitudinal. PLOS ONE, 9(1), Article e86207. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0086207
    • Spronck, B., Megens, R. T. A., Reesink, K. D., & Delhaas, T. (2014). Three-dimensional vascular smooth muscle orientation as quantitatively assessed by multiphoton microscopy: mouse carotid arteries do show a helix. IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 2014, 202-5. https://doi.org/10.1109/EMBC.2014.6943564
  • 2012
    • Spronck, B., Martens, E. G. H. J., Gommer, E. D., & van de Vosse, F. N. (2012). A lumped parameter model of cerebral blood flow control combining cerebral autoregulation and neurovascular coupling. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 303(9), H1143-H1153. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00303.2012