Share innovation. Shape tomorrow.

From the lab to humans: Dan Jing Wu wants to help women with breast cancer with her startup Vivart-X

Post Thumbnail

Investigative impact maker full of entrepreneurial drive

TU/e spin-off VivArt-X has raised nearly one and a half million euros for the development of its biomaterial with the express desire to help women after breast-conserving surgery. Remember this name: Dan Jing Wu. Pronounced with her own Eindhoven accent as Dan Zjing Woe. We are going to hear a lot from this enterprising doctor of biomedical engineering. The CEO of TU/e spin-off VivArt-X has great ambitions to make a real impact in society with her research. The road ahead is long, and strewn with potholes and bumps, but Dan Jing is confident that with VivArt-X she will help women with breast cancer. We ‘traveled’ with Dan Jing Wu for just under a year on her path from science to human application.

When postdoc Dan Jing Wu and professor Patricia Dankers made plans in 2021 to turn their scientific knowledge about regenerating the body’s own tissue into a business, she had no idea what was about to come her way. All she knew was that she wanted to bring her biomedical research to society, and to do something tangible with it to help people.

A doctor is what Wu wanted to be as a child. Or an entrepreneur. Or something in the sciences anyway. After some hesitation this Eindhoven native eventually chose TU/e. “I was good at engineering in high school. Tinkering and fiddling, doing calculations with levers, I liked that.”

Childhood dream

At the Department of Biomedical Engineering at TU/e, she found everything to set her pulse beating faster: researching medical innovations that can help patients and make an impact. And the opportunity to be an entrepreneur. “Since my childhood, I have dreamed of helping patients with my inventions. Now, that is what I call impact from your research. And I’m going to make that happen!”

Grandmother with kidney disease

“My grandmother always encouraged me to pursue medical studies. She became ill and passed away when I started the bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. She had kidney disease and had to be on dialysis for years. I was angry at the world: why can we send a rocket to the moon, but not figure out how to cure my grandmother?”

“When I met Patricia Dankers in my undergraduate phase, she was working on regenerating an artificial kidney with the body’s own tissue. Her research proved to be very attractive to me. I immediately knew ‘she’s the one with whom I want to work and graduate’.”

This is exactly what happened, and Wu followed it with a PhD program. “I was allowed to conceive and design my own research. I wanted to do something with biomaterials, chemistry, 3D printing, and tissue generation.”


The icing on the cake for Wu was getting both Dankers and Carlijn Bouten as mentors. “My two great female role models! I had been a fan of both of them since my bachelor phase.” After the PhD, a postdoc in Patricia Dankers’ group followed. And now Dankers and Wu have joined forces in their startup VivArt-X.

“I thought at the beginning of my studies in Biomedical Engineering that in my master’s I would be able to deliver a product that helps people.” She now laughs at the naiveté and ambition of her younger self. “I soon found out that academia doesn’t work like that. You research things and write papers on them, but don’t develop a product that gets to patients.”

And that’s the nub of the problem for Dan Jing. “It’s a real shame, isn’t it, that all this cool research done at TU/e and other universities fails to get to society?  At least I thought so. That’s why it’s so great that I now have the opportunity to do something about it.”

Source > TU/e website
Photograph > Dan Jing Wu in the lab by Atelier Zoë
Wij gebruiken cookies om jouw gebruikservaring te optimaliseren. Privacyverklaring
Cookies!! Ja natuurlijk gebruiken we die. Sommige om de website goed te laten functioneren andere om gebruikersgedrag in kaart te brengen. Lees meer over hoe wij cookies gebruiken en hoe u ze kunt beheren door op Instellingen te klikken. Vind je het allemaal een beetje overgehypte bangmakerij, klik dan op Alles Toestaan.