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Rick HW de Vries, Netherlands

PhD candidate
Maastricht University/MERLN institute

Rick studied at the faculty of Biomedical Engineering at the Technological University of Eindhoven, where he obtained both is BSc and MSc diploma. He specialized in the Orthopaedic Biomechanics group of prof. dr. Keita Ito. Rick joined the Islet Research Group of dr. Aart van Apeldoorn as a PhD candidate in the beginning of 2017. His work is focused on an alternative treatment of type 1 diabetes. Current treatments are focused on maintenance of normoglycaemia using exogeneous insulin administration and self-monitoring, which reduce, but not eliminate acute and long-term conditions. Another approach is to perform an islet transplantation. Direct injection of the islets, however, leads to a loss of islets over time. Therefore, several scaffolds, ranging from hydrogels to polymers, have been developed over the past years to offer a suitable environment for implanted islets. Ricks projects involves improving and upscaling current scaffold designs in order to path the way towards clinical trials.