Vascular Research Unit

The research team is mainly interested in the paracrine regulation of blood vessel tone. More specifically research is performed on the characteristics, mechanisms of action and identity of some vasoactive molecules released from endothelial cells, retinal tissue, non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) nerves and fat tissue. For this purpose several techniques are applied such as measurement of contractility of small isolated blood vessels in vitro, biochemical measurement of second messengers (cAMP and cGMP) in blood vessels, bio-assay technique for endogenous vasoactive molecules, in vivo measurements of cardiovascular parameters and erectile function in mice. Research also involves the influence of oxidative stress and antioxidants (polyphenols) on the paracrine effects.


Infrastructure and techniques

  • Measurement of contractility of small tissues using organ bath technique.
  • Measurement of blood pressure and heart rate in anesthetized rat and mice.
  • Measurement of erectile function in mice in vivo and in vitro.



  • Prof. dr. Johan Van de Voorde

Scientific staff

  • Dr. Charlotte Boydens (post-doc)
  • Laura Vanden Daele (PhD student)
  • Jolien De Waele (Scientific collaborator)

Technical staff

  • Lies Vancraeynest
  • Tom Vanthuyne
  • Samuel Tshitengé


Prof. dr. Johan Van de Voorde