Verena Schwach seeks funding for Heart-on-Chip research through crowdfunding

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Reducing the number of cardiac arrests, brain infarcts and heart failure and preventing them from occurring in the future as much as possible, that is the aim of the study 'Growing hearts on a chip'.

In order to obtain research funding, postdoc Verena Schwach, of the group of hDMT PI Robert Passier of the University of Twente, has not opted for a standard procedure for writing research proposals. Instead, she chose a crowdfunding campaign. In collaboration with the Dutch Heart Foundation, she is trying to fund her research into living heart cells on a chip to study cardiac arrhythmia. In order to start her research, 25,000 euros will be needed; the Heart Foundation will double the amount donated.

Personalized medicine

Schwach now uses generic stem cells to grow living heart muscle cells on a chip. By using stimuli, cardiac dysrhythmia can be simulated, after which medicines for treatment can be tested.

With her newly funded research, she hopes to be able to use stem cells of patients suffering from a heart-rhythm disorder. This will enable her to investigate which medication and treatment works best for the patient in question.

Schwach hopes to discover new and personalized medications for better treatment of cardiac dysrhythmia and to prevent its serious consequences.

Here you can see a video explaining the goal of the crowdfunding (in Dutch)

Source: UTwente, Hartstichting crowdfunding

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