Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Bioengineering

Visiting Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 1473r.krams




3.15Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Systems and synthetic biology of the vessel wall

The research in our group consists of a combination of engineering techniques and genomics to study the vascular biology of the vessel wall.

To that end, we develop new tools for the induction of complex flow fields, quantification of images, robot driven technologies for genomics and synthetic biology.

With this new techniques we perform animal experiments for the testing of new theories of atherosclerosis.

Visit the Mechanosensing and Atherosclerosis group website.

Research highlight

World's-first mechanosensitive human cell line produced by Imperial’s Professor Rob Krams now available via Quicktech.

Research Topics

  • imaging and finite element modelling
  • singel cell genomics
  • systems medicine of cardiovascular disease
  • synthetic biology of cardiovascular disease

Imaging and Finite element Modelling

We have developed novel techniques to combine state-of-the art imaging techniques, 3D reconstruction software and 3D hostology to generate mouse-specifc reconstruction of the development of thin cap fibro-atheroma.

The accurate 3D reconstructions are used for finite element models to calculate shear stres and strain on endothelial cells, applying state-of-the art fluid-structure interaction models.

Our aim is to calculate single cell strain and shear stres profiles and this goal invalidates the continuum assumption of the FSI models. Hence, we are also studying multi-phase flows in collaboration with dr. van Wachem (Mechanical Engineering).

  • Single Cell Genomics
  • Bioinformatics of Cardiac Disease
  • Synthetic Biology of Cardiac Disease


The major funding for my research comes from:

  • The British Heart Foundation
  • The British Centre of Excellence
  • The Swiss government
  • The Dutch government
  • The BBSRC
  • The Welcome trust

Systems Biology of the vessel Wall

show research

Systems biology has matured over the last years and we are now developing a platform to identify gene networks during the development of the atherosclerosis. For this project we are developing a platform where imaging based finite element models deliver shear stress and strain fields that allow us to capture cells exposed to a certain velocity field with a laser capture machine. The RNA of these cells is then amplified and used for RNA sequencing.

After which we have developed sophisticated bioinformatics tools to generate gene networks. These tools will be applied to an in-house developed animal model where the formation of a vulnerable plaque model is initiated by a reduction in blood flow. This will lead to novel insights how genen networks adapt during the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.


N. Stergiopulos, EPFL, Lausanne, Switzerland

M. de Crom, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands

P. Leenen, Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands