The use of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived vascular smooth muscle cells to study aneurysmal diseases

Scope of the method

The Method relates to
  • Human health
The Method is situated in
  • Basic Research
  • Translational - Applied Research
Type of method
  • In vitro - Ex vivo
This method makes use of
  • Human derived cells / tissues / organs
Specify the type of cells/tissues/organs
vascular smooth muscle cells (lateral mesoderm and neural crest-derived)


Method keywords
  • induced pluripotent stem cells
  • drug screening
  • Disease modeling
  • Lateral mesoderm
  • Neural crest
Scientific area keywords
  • thoracic aortic aneurysm
  • Marfan syndrome
  • Loeys-Dietz syndrome
Method description

Vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) deficiency plays a pivotal role in aneurysm development. Unfortunately, access to native VSMCs of patients and (particularly) control individuals is extremely limited. It has been shown that iPSC-derived VSMCs recapitulate the yet known disease processes very well. They can thus serve as a substitute for their native counterparts when studying and therapeutically targeting human aneurysmal phenotypes. Even the fact that tissue VSMCs of different embryonic origins discretely contribute to disease development and/or progression can be accounted for by using specific differentiation protocols for mesoderm- and neural crest-derived VSMCs. In our research team we use iPSC-VSMCs to assist the search for modifier genes, to further unravel the disease mechanisms and to find novel drug compounds.

Method status
  • Still in development
  • Internally validated

References, associated documents and other information

Contact person

Aline Verstraeten


University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen)
Center for Medical Genetics
Flemish Region