Biophysical properties of tumours

One of the main limitations of IP drug delivery is that the penetration depth into the tumour tissue from the peritoneal cavity is quite limited. In this research line, the 'Experimental Surgery Research Group' focuses on the biophysical properties of tumours, to gain insight into the role they play in the treatment success.

Research projects

Correlating the depth of penetration of a drug with the stromal biophysical properties of the tissue, including interstitial fluid pressure and hydraulic conductivity

The two main mechanisms that determine the depth of penetration of a drug into tissue are convection, driven by a pressure gradient, and diffusion, which results from a concentration gradient. The degree of convection depends on the hydraulic conductivity of the tissue, which is determined by the viscosity of the interstitial fluid and by the stromal architecture or mechanical "stiffness" of the tissue. In this project, we want to gain insight into the hydraulic conductivity and viscoelastic properties of (tumour) tissue.


DCE-MRI study: characterization of the biophysical properties of the human tumoural stroma, a step towards personalized computational oncology

This clinical study aims to measure the interstitial fluid pressure in a non-invasive manner using DCE-MRI in patients with pancreatic or ovarian cancer. In this way, we wish to gain insight into the structure of the tumour tissue and the role that this structure plays in the success of the treatment.


There are partnerships with research groups from the faculties of Pharmacy, Engineering and Sciences of Ghent University, but also with the VIB (a life sciences research institute based in Flanders), Ghent University Hospital, and various national, European and international partners.



  • Sarah Cosyns, postdoctoral assistant

+32 9 332 15 62