Excessive clotting (thrombosis) leads to the cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke, killing one Australian every 12 minutes. It has long been recognized that platelets play a central role in thrombosis and are unique in their ability to form stable adhesive interactions under conditions of rapid blood flow.
We've recently discovered a new ‘biomechanical’ prothrombotic mechanism that highlights the remarkable platelet sensitivity to the shear stress gradients of blood flow disturbance. Importantly, we've found that current anti-thrombotic drugs, such as Aspirin, Plavix® or Brilinta®, have limited effect against this biomechanical thrombosis.
To address this pressing need, we're developing simple-to-use, high-throughput and highly-informative microfluidic biochips to understand the sequences of molecular events underlying biomechanical thrombosis (mechanobiology). We're also developing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation to correlate the haemodynamic parameters with thrombotic phenotypes.
We're assembling a team of bioengineers and clinicians to develop novel strategies for diagnosis and treatment of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
The research activities you're involved in will depend on your study level. They can include:
- microfluidics design
- 3D printing
- fluid dynamics simulation
- cell culture
- in vitro experiments.
The anticipated outcome could translate into point-of-care tools that:
- facilitate physicians' decisions on diagnosis
- follow disease progression
- optimise treatment courses
- potentially deploy on ambulance to improve patient care.
Skills and experience
To be considered for this research project, you should have a background in either:
- mechanical engineering
- chemical engineering
- biomedical engineering background.
We also expect you to have some basic knowledge in fluid dynamics or biology.
You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.
Contact the supervisor for more information.