Acute aortic dissections (AD) are a relevant source of morbidity and mortality with an stable annual age- and gender-adjusted incidence of 2.53/100.000. Besides age, the most relevant risk factors of developing an AD are hypertension and having ever smoked. ADs entail laceration of the intima allowing blood to flow between the layers and causing a de-lamination while propagating forward within the aortic wall. Endothelial cells (ECs) form the innermost layer of blood vessels separating blood stream components from the underlying tissue. Thus, this cell layer might of utmost interest to study the disease at its initial stages. To this end, cell-cell junctions such as adherens junctions might be of particular interest since these junctions mediate mechanical adhesions. Our group is interested in how risk factors influence these junctions applying cell culture models, next-generation sequencing and ex-vivo bioreactor perfusion experiments.