Welcome to the website of the Vorselen Lab of Mechanobiology and quantitative immune cell biology!

This website is still under construction. Check back soon for updates!

What we do

In the Vorselen Lab we are fascinated by complex and dynamic cellular behavior, and specifically the role of mechanical forces therein. Such forces have emerged as critical regulators of cell function over the past two decades. Within this context, we are particularly interested in immune cell functions.

We develop new biophysical technologies to assess cellular forces and modulate the physical stimuli that cells receive. In combination with quantitative microscopy and advanced cellular perturbations, this allows us to interrogate dynamic cellular behavior in great detail. It shows us how, where and when individual proteins coordinate rapid cellular rearrangements and helps us understand the regulation of biological processes by physical forces in health and disease.

A specific focus of our lab is phagocytosis by macrophages. This process is intriguing from a fundamental mechanobiology perspective, since phagocytosis depends on the stiffness of targets (generally more efficient for stiffer targets), but the mechanisms of rigidity-dependence are almost entirely unknown. It is also important from a clinical perspective, since cancer cells for example may avoid immune cell recognition through their “softness”.

–> For more information see research. Interested to join, see join!



09/04 – 14/04 Daan will be attending and speaking at the EMBO ImmunoBiophysics conference in les Houches, France.

20/02 Niek Frijlink and Anne Josten started their MSc thesis projects in the lab!

09/01 Stijn Hanssen is the first MSc thesis student to join the lab!


25/10 New review article out! Read all about the involved receptors and engulfment dynamics during uptake of apoptotic (dying) cells.

21/09 New article online! Part of a great ongoing collaboration with Mira Krendel, Nils Gauthier and Sarah Barger. This one shows how different classes of motor proteins keep each other in balance, and has perhaps the best phagocytosis movie (I may be biased)! See for yourself here

15/09 Daan is speaking at the EMBO meeting: Phagocytosis of dying cells in Ghent.

01/08 We’ve started! Grateful and excited for this opportunity.

31/07 New preprint online! Part of a fantastic collaboration with Michael Bassik and Roarke Kamber. We reveal unexpected and strange dynamics of phagocytosis, and we performed a CRISPR screen that establishes new regulators of phagocytosis!