Appropriate functioning of our body is determined by the mechanical behavior of our organs. An improved understanding of the biomechanical functioning of the soft tissues making up these organs is therefore crucial for the choice for, and development of, efficient clinical treatment strategies focused on patient-specific pathophysiology.
This doctoral dissertation describes the passive and active biomechanical behavior of gastrointestinal and cardiovascular tissue, both in the short and long term, through computer models that bridge the cell, tissue and organ scale. Using histological characterization, mechanical testing and medical imaging techniques, virtual esophagus and heart models are developed that simulate the patient-specific biomechanical organ behavior as accurately as possible. In addition to the diagnostic value of these models, the developed modeling technology also allows us to predict the acute and chronic effect of various treatment techniques, through e.g. drugs, surgery and/or medical equipment. Consequently, this dissertation offers insights that will have an unmistakable impact on the personalized medicine of the future.