Katrien Brouwer

Brouwer Katrien
MSc Katrien Brouwer 


Reconstructive and regenerative medicine


My research focuses on the prevention of (hypertrophic) scar formation, which occurs frequently in burn patients and following cleft lip and palate surgery. Wounds are normally closed by wound contraction and scar formation by myofibroblasts; however, under the influence of mechanical, inflammatory and oxidative stress factors in the wound, prolonged persistence of myofibroblasts may promote hypertrophic scar formation. Several methods to influence scar formation are investigated. Firstly, we aim to induce cytoprotective genes by promoting nuclear localization of the cytoprotective proteins haem oxygenase-1 (HO-1) and biliverdin reductase (BVR). We expect that induction of anti-inflammatory HO-1- and BVR-responsive cytoprotective genes following wounding and chronic inflammation will reduce scarring. Secondly, the mechanical load on a wound can also influence scar formation, and by increasing mechanical load myofibroblast retention and matrix deposition may be reduced. We will investigate the role of mechanical load, in combination with modulation of the HO system, on myofibroblast formation.

Katrien Brouwer works as a postdoc at the Department of Orthodontics and Craniofacial Biology at Dentistry, in the research groups of Dr. Frank Wagener and Dr. Hans von den Hoff.

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