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Ton van der Steen

Med­ical Technologist

A heart tech­ni­cian! How cool is that!

For­get the clichés you ever heard about medial sci­ence. There is noth­ing nerdy about it, not since Ton van der Steen has become the super­star in his field. He is much more than an excel­lent sci­en­tist. He has charisma and a way of turn­ing highly spe­cial­is­tic con­tent into com­pletely under­stand­able lan­guage. When Ton talks about his pas­sion it changes from what appeared ulti­mately com­pli­cated into some­thing quite com­pre­hen­si­ble. Like how you can deter­mine the char­ac­ter of a clogged blood ves­sel by using sound. Is it of a deadly nature, or rather harm­less? Ton found the answers.

Van der Steen and his crew are not only incred­i­ble smart but cre­ative as well: cre­ative in a way that brings Mac­Gyver to mind at times. Because what often is being devel­oped isn’t some­thing that needs years of devel­op­ment and test­ing. Instead it is smart new way of ana­lyz­ing infor­ma­tion that was acces­si­ble all along. Take the echo catheter for exam­ple: this every­day tool of an inter­ven­tional car­di­ol­o­gist. Ton van der Steen found it to be capa­ble of much more than any­one could have imag­ined. All it appar­ently takes is to ana­lyze infor­ma­tion in a dif­fer­ent way, infor­ma­tion the device col­lects on it’s way through ves­sels and veins any­way. Just a lit­tle dif­fer­ence, accord­ing to Ton van der Steen, but in every­day prac­tice it makes the dif­fer­ence between life and death.

Prof.dr.ir. Van der Steen is pro­fes­sor in Bio­med­ical Engi­neer­ing in Car­di­ol­ogy at the Eras­mus Uni­ver­sity Rot­ter­dam and the Interuni­ver­sity Car­di­ol­ogy Insti­tute of the Nether­lands. He is head of the Bio­med­ical Engi­neer­ing of the Tho­rax­cen­tre at Eras­mus Med­ical Cen­tre in Rot­ter­dam. Cur­rent research inter­ests are in vul­ner­a­ble plaque detec­tion, early diag­no­sis of athe­ro­clero­sis, intravas­cu­lar ultra­sound, ultra­sound con­trast agents and trans­ducer design for spe­cial appli­ca­tions, includ­ing trans­esophegeal, carotid, three-dimensional and har­monic imag­ing. Ton van der Steen has been the project leader of a national ICIN pro­gram on vul­ner­a­ble plaque visu­al­i­sa­tion and is Co-principle inves­ti­ga­tor of ParisK, a large pro­gram on early diag­no­sis of ath­er­o­slero­sis. He was appointed the 2000 NWOPIONIER Tech­ni­cal Sci­ences for Vul­ner­a­ble Plaque Detec­tion and the 2007 STW Simon Stevin Mas­ter and is mem­ber of the National Acad­emy of Techol­ogy and Innovation.



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