Study level

  • PhD


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Dr Phong Tran
Division / Faculty
Professor Prasad Yarlagadda
Professor in Smart Systems
Division / Faculty
Faculty of Engineering


The recent COVID 19 pandemic reminds us of how difficult it is to control infectious diseases. Pathogenic microorganisms are known to be extremely 'smart' and are able to quickly develop mechanisms against most of our strategies aimed at eradicating them. Our group is focused on bacterial infections to implants and medical devices. We are in the pursuit to outsmart the bacteria to develop the next generation medical device and implant materials.

Bacterial motility/movement and group-coordination on surfaces and in 3-dimensional environment (for example, surrounding an implanted medical device) is key to their development of biofilm and virulence. This project investigates how this motility occurs on surfaces of different topographies (for example, surface with nano-pillars) and in 3D environment.

Research activities

Students will be embedded in a multidisciplinary team and working with material scientists, microbiologists and surgeons. Using cutting-edge technological tools, students will design and prepare the surfaces and 3D media, and conduct bacterial experiments to gain new understanding of bacterial motility and develop a strategy to control it.


The research activities are expected to generate new understanding of bacteria movement in different environment and how the microenvironment can be used to control this movement. The findings can ultimately lead to the development of better antimicrobial implants for patients.

Skills and experience

Microbiology knowledge, cell/bacterial culture.


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Contact the supervisor for more information.