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

Summary

We are developing a clinically useful, rapid and high throughput profiling microdevices for thrombosis and coagulation. It will be extremely useful for patients with diabetes, obesity and metabolic syndromes with sticky blood clot phenotypes and cardiovascular risk factors. In future, such technology can be deployed on ambulance to improve patient care for heart attack and stroke. 

Supervisor(s)

Dr Lining (Arnold) Ju

Research Location

Biomedical Engineering - BMIT, School of Physics, Brain and Mind Centre

Program Type

Masters/PHD

Synopsis

Excessive clotting (thrombosis) leads to the cardiovascular diseases such as heart attack and stroke—the No.1 world-wide killer, killing one Australian every 12 minutes. We have recently discovered a new ‘biomechanical’ prothrombotic mechanism that highlights the remarkable platelet sensitivity to the shear stress gradients of blood flow disturbance. Importantly, we found that the current anti-thrombotic drugs such as Aspirin, Plavix® or Brilinta®, have limited effect against this biomechanical thrombosis.

To address this pressing need, we are developing simple-to-use, high-throughput and highly-informative microfluidic biochips to understand sequences of molecular events underlying biomechanical thrombosis (mechanobiology). We are also developing computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulation to correlate the haemodynamic parameters with thrombotic phenotypes. We are assembling a team of bioengineers and clinicians at the newly-launched School of Biomedical Engineering and Charles Perkins Centre—the national flagship research hub for cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. The anticipated outcome could translate into point-of-care tools that facilitate physicians' decisions on diagnosis, follow disease progression, optimise treatment courses, or even deploy on ambulance to improve patient care.

Additional Information

Current PHD and/or Masters topics
1) Nature Materials (2019) –Chen Y#, Ju LA#, Zhou F, Liao J, Xue L, Yuan Y, Su QP, Jin D, Lu H, Jackson SP, and Zhu C (2019). An integrin αIIbβ3 intermediate affinity state mediates biomechanical platelet aggregation. Nature Mat 18(7): 760-769 doi: 10.1038/s41563-019-0323-6 Commented by Nature Materials (18(7):661–662) in the same issue. [IF 39.74] https://sydney.edu.au/news-opinion/news/2019/04/02/research-unlocks-biomechanic-mystery-behind-deadly-blood-clots.html
2) Nature Communications (2018) – Ju L, McFadyen JD, Al-Daher S, et al. (2018) Compression force sensing regulates integrin αIIbβ3 adhesive function on diabetic platelets. Nature Commun 9(1): 1084. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03430-6 [IF 12.53]https://www.hri.org.au/news/blood-clot-breakthrough-a-saviour-for-diabetics
Eligibility criteria / candidate profileYou will have:1) Academic knowledge in the discipline of fluid mechanics, hemorheology, micro / nano fabrication, organ chips, and wearable devices cardiac and exercise physiology;2) Capability of using two or more of ANASYS, Comsol, Labview, AutoCAD, MATLAB, 3D-max, PRO-E, SolidWorks, ZEMAX and other software; 3) Experience with the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for haemodynamics or PIV analysis of haemorheology.

Preferred experience include:
1) At least one year of experience in clean room micro/nano processing and soft lithography;
2) Experience in theoretical simulation using and Matlab or Comsol, or Labview programming to control equipment and devices;3) Capability of independently output processing models and drawings, be capable of CNC programming, use other conventional processing platform equipment to manufacture mechanical parts, and use 3D printers for part manufacturing.
Scholarship(s)  /  funding availableARC Discovery Project DP200101970 (CI-A) “Integrin Activation by Fluid Flow Disturbance: Mechanobiology Approaches”

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Keywords

mechanobiology, haemodynamics, cardiovascular, Stroke, Platelet, rheology, Thrombosis, microfluidics, Super resolution imaging, microscopy, Biomechanics, Red blood cell, Haematology, Single molecule, Biophysics, diabetes, Obesity

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 2781

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