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An airway chip for screening viral infection mediated immune responses

Respiratory infections such as influenza, SARS-COV-2, COVID-19, and MERS are increasingly prevalent. Complications and related deaths arising from these infections are often the result of a “cytokine storm”, whereby there is an over production of proinflammatory soluble factors by immune cells, which dictates symptoms severity and mortality risk. Recent works showed that immunomodulatory therapy, with or without antiviral agents, may improve recovery outcome. However, the screening of suitable immune-modulatory and antiviral agents relies heavily on animal models which can't capture …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Develop point-of-care microfluidic technologies for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases

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 …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Smart biomaterials for tissue regeneration

Ageing and diseases usually result in tissue damage and organ failure. To regenerate functional tissues and restore organ function, bioactive materials with smart surfaces are essential to facilitate cellular activities.This project is to develop biomaterials actively engage with biological system to regulate and direct cell behaviour and tissue regeneration.

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Comparison of output from collocated solar systems of different technology

Solar panel efficiency is calculated using standardised testing conditions, allowing like-for-like comparison of systems under the same conditions. However, data collected over a three year period from two collocated solar systems of different technologies are showing unexpected results. The most efficient system's yearly output is comparatively lower. Initial data analysis explains some differences from the operational conditions, but further investigation is required.

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Immune regulation in tissue formation

Immune cells are essential in maintaining tissue homeostasis and function.This project will will work on the interaction between immune cells and tissue forming cells aiming to regulate the processes of tissue repair and regeneration.

Study level
PhD
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Geopolymers

Geopolymers are materials which are rapidly finding interest in industry because they are 90% less polluting than conventional portland cement. They're made by reacting aluminosilicate materials with alkaline solutions in the presence of a reaction promoter.We're examining new geopolymers made from Australian-based minerals, such as zeolites and clays.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Value added mining wastes

Australia's mining sector generates significant quantities of waste material which needs to avoid landfill and holding ponds to maintain a competitive environmental responsibility.A part of this challenge is to look as repurposing waste materials as resource for high value products.This project will look at value-adding mining wastes by converting traditional tailings into useful, high value products.

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Understanding the hydrodynamics of foam fractionation for removing surface active contaminants from water

Foam fractionation is used in water treatment to remove surface active contaminants.This process involves bubbling a gas through a fluid. As the bubble moves through the fluid particles and molecules that are hydrophobic in nature attach to the surface and are transported upwards. These particles and molecules are then removed in the foamate.The operation of foam fractionation processes depends on a number of different factors including:gas flowrateliquid flowratebubble sizesurface tension.The hydrodynamics of foam fractionation processes are not completely understood. Because …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Water for remote communities

This project relates to the development of suitable technologies to provide clean drinking water to remote communities.Strategies may include using renewable energy to power the various techniques used.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Investigating the feasibility of a fluidised bed crystalliser for freeze desalination of wastewaters

Freeze desalination involves the cooling of water to sub-zero temperatures to form ice-crystals which exclude impurities from the crystal lattice.The process itself is considered to be more energy efficient than evaporative desalination due to the lower latent heat of fusion when compared to the latent heat of vaporisation.However, fouling due to ice crystal build-up on the cooling-surface of the crystalliser has hindered the commercial development and application of these technologies.One potential option for reducing fouling is in a fluidised bed …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Bio-nano technology for immune defence

A fully-functioning immune system is essential to maintain good health, though such a system deteriorates with advancing age, contributing to increased susceptibility to infection, autoimmunity, and cancer.Relatively little research has been conducted on the impact of ageing on the innate immune response, which plays a crucial role in protecting against infection and represents a first line of defence. Macrophages are central effector cells of the innate immune system and have many diverse functions. This means age-related impairments in macrophage function …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Physics-informed modelling for microfluidics

The miniaturisation of chemical and biological processes for gas sensing, water purification, cell culture and separation, and micro-reactors is an important factor to reduce costs while increasing performance and efficiency. Miniaturisation requires microfluidic tools for the precise manipulation of complex fluids at the microscale. Microfluidics offers several advantages such as speed, precision and control of those physical processes.However, the lack of fundamental understanding of the microscopic flow mechanisms, in particular the behaviour of non-ideal fluid mixtures, is a critical aspect …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty
Lead unit
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

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