Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

PhD: Dr Ingmar Schoen - Spatiotemporal coordination of platelet behaviour during thrombus formation

The aim of this PhD project is to better understand how platelet mechanics contribute to different stages of thrombus formation.

Project description

Platelets are small anucleate cells in the blood stream. Upon vascular injury, they adhere to vessel walls and aggregate to seal the lesion. The biochemistry of platelet receptors and platelet activation has been extensively studied, but little is known about the role of contractile platelet forces in the process of thrombus formation and how these determine the final architecture and mechanical properties of the thrombus.

The aim of this PhD project is to better understand how platelet mechanics contribute to different stages of thrombus formation. The successful candidate will learn bioengineering and advanced microscopy methods to establish a microfluidic in vitro model for highresolution 3D live imaging of thrombus formation.

Advanced image and data analysis, complemented by computational modelling, will be used to track platelets within the forming clot and to characterise intrathrombus heterogeneity with respect to compaction, platelet activation state, and content. The final goal is to link specific clot dynamics and architectures with pathological situations, like elevated arterial fluid shear stress, patients with a bleeding diathesis, diabetic patients, and patients receiving anti-platelet drugs.

Research theme: Bioengineering, cardiovascular disorders

Keywords: Thrombosis, microfluidics, advanced microscopy

Specification

This is an unfunded project. Prospective students with their own funding or those interested in jointly applying for funding are welcome to contact the PI (mentor), Dr Ingmar Schoen for further information. The candidate should have a strong background in bioengineering or a natural sciences degree and is highly motivated to engage in interdisciplinary work.

Mentors Dr Ingmar Schoen