This unique project will engineer an in-silico and in-vitro platform mimicking the atherosclerotic endothelium, to study permeability, inflammation and plaque formation using a combination of mathematical models and microfluidics. This atherosclerosis 'organ-on-a-chip' will produce results under patient-specific, pulsatile shear conditions. The platform comprises a sophisticated flow delivery system to generate physiological/pulsatile flows and an endothelium culture analog, used with microscopic imaging techniques to study cell-cell interaction, effects of shear on the endothelium, and macromolecules transport through the endothelium. Experiments will be combined with mathematical models, used in conjunction with patient data to provide a personalised, multiscale approach to vascular disease.
The aim of the study is to provide an integrated platform for personalized medicine and in particular to examine vascular physiology, atherosclerosis and pharmacokinetics. This will comprise an organ- on-a-chip approach combined with mathematical modeling. The organ-on-a-chip paradigm has been identified as a potentially disruptive technology, capable of producing fundamental change in healthcare.
An engineering graduate is required with good knowledge of fluids mechanics, strong analytical skills, passion for experimental work and preferably some experience of design, instrumentation and Matlab. The student will design and develop microfluidic tools to study cell-cell interaction and endothelium permeability , blood flow dynamics and rheology and will also work on modelling of endothelial cell behaviour and CFD, supported by an already established group of modellers based in Mechanical Engineering. Since this is a truly multi-disciplinary project, the ideal student will be a self- starter and will feel comfortable working with specialists in different disciplines. For this, excellent communication and interpersonal skills are essential.
Ines Pineda Torra