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

  • 2023
    • Malik, A. E. F., Giudici, A., van der Laan, K. W. F., Op 't Roodt, J., Mess, W. H., Delhaas, T., Spronck, B., & Reesink, K. D. (2023). Detectable Bias between Vascular Ultrasound Echo-Tracking Systems: Relevance Depends on Application. Journal of Clinical Medicine, 12(1), [69]. https://doi.org/10.3390/jcm12010069
  • 2022
    • van Loo, C., Giudici, A., & Spronck, B. (2022). Potential adverse effects of vasodilatory antihypertensive medication on vascular stiffness in elderly individuals. Hypertension Research, 45(12), 2024-2027. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41440-022-01012-0
    • Zhang, E., Spronck, B., Humphrey, J. D., & Karniadakis, G. E. (2022). G2Φnet: Relating genotype and biomechanical phenotype of tissues with deep learning. PLoS Computational Biology, 18(10), e1010660. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pcbi.1010660
    • Spronck, B., Ramachandra, A. B., Moriyama, L., Toczek, J., Han, J. A., Sadeghi, M. M., & Humphrey, J. D. (2022). Deletion of matrix metalloproteinase-12 compromises mechanical homeostasis and leads to an aged aortic phenotype in young mice. Journal of Biomechanics, 141, [111179]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2022.111179
    • Giudici, A., & Spronck, B. (2022). The Role of Layer-Specific Residual Stresses in Arterial Mechanics: Analysis via a Novel Modelling Framework. Artery Research, 28(2), 41-54. https://doi.org/10.1007/s44200-022-00013-1
    • Athaide, C. E., Spronck, B., & Au, J. S. (2022). Physiological basis for longitudinal motion of the arterial wall. American Journal of Physiology-heart and Circulatory Physiology, 322(5), H689-H701. https://doi.org/10.1152/ajpheart.00567.2021
    • Spronck, B., Obeid, M. J., Paravathaneni, M., Gadela, N. V., Singh, G., Magro, C. A., Kulkarni, V., Kondaveety, S., Gade, K. C., Bhuva, R., Kulick-Soper, C. M., Sanchez, N., Akers, S., & Chirinos, J. A. (2022). Predictive Ability of Pressure-Corrected Arterial Stiffness Indices: Comparison of Pulse Wave Velocity, Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI), and CAVI0. American Journal of Hypertension, 35(3), 272-280. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpab168
    • Giudici, A., & Spronck, B. (2022). A first step towards recognizing the fundamental role of smooth muscle tone in large artery (dys)function?Journal of Hypertension, 40(3), 422-424. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000003063
    • van der Laan, K. W. F., Reesink, K. D., van der Bruggen, M. M., Jaminon, A. M. G., Schurgers, L. J., Megens, R. T. A., Huberts, W., Delhaas, T., & Spronck, B. (2022). Improved Quantification of Cell Density in the Arterial Wall-A Novel Nucleus Splitting Approach Applied to 3D Two-Photon Laser-Scanning Microscopy. Frontiers in physiology, 12, [814434]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.814434
  • 2021
    • Malik, A. E. F., Delhaas, T., Spronck, B., Henry, R. M. A., Joseph, J., Stehouwer, C. D. A., Mess, W. H., & Reesink, K. D. (2021). Single M-Line Is as Reliable as Multiple M-Line Ultrasound for Carotid Artery Screening. Frontiers in physiology, 12, [787083]. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2021.787083
    • Giudici, A., Khir, A. W., Reesink, K. D., Delhaas, T., & Spronck, B. (2021). Five years of cardio-ankle vascular index (CAVI) and CAVI0: how close are we to a pressure-independent index of arterial stiffness?Journal of Hypertension, 39(11), 2128-2138. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002928
    • Spronck, B. (2021). Disentangling Arterial Stiffness and Blood Pressure. Heart Lung and Circulation, 30(11), 1599-1601. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2021.05.086
    • van der Bruggen, M. M., Spronck, B., Delhaas, T., Reesink, K. D., & Schalkwijk, C. G. (2021). The Putative Role of Methylglyoxal in Arterial Stiffening: A Review. Heart Lung and Circulation, 30(11), 1681-1693. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hlc.2021.06.527
    • Giudici, A., Khir, A. W., Szafron, J. M., & Spronck, B. (2021). From Uniaxial Testing of Isolated Layers to a Tri-Layered Arterial Wall: A Novel Constitutive Modelling Framework. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 49(9), 2454-2467. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10439-021-02775-2
    • Spronck, B., Latorre, M., Wang, M., Mehta, S., Caulk, A. W., Ren, P. W., Ramachandra, A. B., Murtada, S. I., Rojas, A., He, C. S., Jiang, B., Bersi, M. R., Tellides, G., & Humphrey, J. D. (2021). Excessive adventitial stress drives inflammation-mediated fibrosis in hypertensive aortic remodelling in mice. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 18(180), [20210336]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0336
    • van der Bruggen, M., Spronck, B., Bos, S., Heusinkveld, M. H. G., Taddei, S., Ghiadoni, L., Delhaas, T., Bruno, R. M., & Reesink, K. D. (2021). Pressure-corrected carotid stiffness and Young's modulus: evaluation in an outpatient clinic setting. American Journal of Hypertension, 34(7), 737-743. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpab028
    • Parikh, S., Ganizada, B., Debeij, G., Natour, E., Maessen, J., Spronck, B., Schurgers, L., Delhaas, T., Huberts, W., Bidar, E., & Reesink, K. (2021). Intra-Operative Video-Based Measurement of Biaxial Strains of the Ascending Thoracic Aorta. Biomedicines, 9(6), [670]. https://doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9060670
    • Bruno, R. M., Spronck, B., Hametner, B., Hughes, A., Lacolley, P., Mayer, C. C., Muiesan, M. L., Rajkumar, C., Terentes-Printzios, D., Weber, T., Hansen, T. W., Boutouyrie, P., & Association for Research into Arterial Structure, Physiology (ARTERY) Society (2021). Covid-19 Effects on ARTErial StIffness and Vascular AgeiNg: CARTESIAN Study Rationale and Protocol. Artery Research, 27(2), 59-68. https://doi.org/10.2991/artres.k.201124.001
    • van der Bruggen, M. M., Reesink, K. D., Spronck, P. J. M., Bitsch, N., Hameleers, J., Megens, R. T. A., Schalkwijk, C. G., Delhaas, T., & Spronck, B. (2021). An integrated set-up for ex vivo characterisation of biaxial murine artery biomechanics under pulsatile conditions. Scientific Reports, 11(1), [2671]. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-81151-5
    • Latorre, M., Spronck, B., & Humphrey, J. D. (2021). Complementary roles of mechanotransduction and inflammation in vascular homeostasis. Proceedings of the Royal Society A-Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 477(2245), [20200622]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspa.2020.0622
    • Spronck, B., Tan, I., Reesink, K. D., Georgevsky, D., Delhaas, T., Avolio, A. P., & Butlin, M. (2021). Heart rate and blood pressure dependence of aortic distensibility in rats: comparison of measured and calculated pulse wave velocity. Journal of Hypertension, 39(1), 117-126. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002608
  • 2020
    • Pucci, G., Spronck, B., Avolio, A. P., Tap, L., Vaudo, G., Anastasio, F., Van den Meiracker, A., & Mattace-Raso, F. (2020). Age-Specific Acute Changes in Carotid-Femoral Pulse Wave Velocity With Head-up Tilt. American Journal of Hypertension, 33(12), 1112-1118. https://doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpaa101
    • Zanoli, L., Briet, M., Empana, J. P., Cunha, P. G., Maki-Petaja, K. M., Protogerou, A. D., Tedgui, A., Touyz, R. M., Schiffrin, E. L., Spronck, B., Bouchard, P., Vlachopoulos, C., Bruno, R. M., Boutouyrie, P., Association for Research into Arterial Structure, Physiology (ARTERY) Society, & European Society of Hypertension (2020). Vascular consequences of inflammation: A position statement from the ESH Working Group on Vascular Structure and Function and the ARTERY Society. Journal of Hypertension, 38(9), 1682-1698. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002508
    • Spronck, B., Ferruzzi, J., Bellini, C., Caulk, A. W., Murtada, S. I., & Humphrey, J. D. (2020). Aortic remodeling is modest and sex-independent in mice when hypertension is superimposed on aging. Journal of Hypertension, 38(7), 1312-1321. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002400
    • Cooke, A. B., Dasgupta, K., Spronck, B., Sharman, J. E., & Daskalopoulou, S. S. (2020). Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Exhibit a Greater Exercise-Induced Increase in Arterial Stiffness and Vessel Hemodynamics. Hypertension, 75(6), 1565-1573. https://doi.org/10.1161/hypertensionaha.120.14778
    • Butlin, M., Tan, I., Spronck, B., & Avolio, A. P. (2020). Measuring Arterial Stiffness in Animal Experimental Studies. Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, 40(5), 1068-1077. https://doi.org/10.1161/ATVBAHA.119.313861
    • Spronck, B., Jurko, A., Mestanik, M., Avolio, A. P., & Tonhajzerova, I. (2020). Reply to Comments: Using the Cardio-Ankle Vascular Index (CAVI) or the Mathematical Correction Form (CAVI(0)) in Clinical Practice. International journal of molecular sciences, 21(7), [2647]. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms21072647
    • Walavalkar, V., Maiya, S., Pujar, S., Ramachandra, P., Siddaiah, S., Spronck, B., Vanagt, W. Y., & Delhaas, T. (2020). Percutaneous Device Closure of Congenital Isolated Ventricular Septal Defects: A Single-Center Retrospective Database Study Amongst 412 Cases. Pediatric Cardiology, 41(3), 591-598. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00246-020-02315-0
  • 2019
    • Spronck, B., & Humphrey, J. (2019). Arterial Stiffness: Different Metrics, Different Meanings. Journal of Biomechanical Engineering-Transactions of the Asme, 141(9), [091004]. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4043486
    • Spronck, B., Mestanik, M., Tonhajzerova, I., Jurko, A., Tan, I., Butlin, M., & Avolio, A. P. (2019). Easy conversion of cardio-ankle vascular index into CAVI(0): influence of scale coefficients. Journal of Hypertension, 37(9), 1913-1914. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJH.0000000000002166
    • 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), [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), [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