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Master Thesis (m/f): Hydrodynamic focusing on micron-scale

Fraunhofer-Institut für Silicatforschung Würzburg

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The Fraunhofer ATTRACT 3DNanoCell works on the development of standardized diagnostic assays for monitoring and controlling cell functions such as cell adhesion, migration, cell division and apoptosis. Our research is focused on the development and investigation of specifically designed materials for therapy and diagnosis in the fields of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering. Therefore, novel methods for the nanoscale bottom-up-fabrication and 3D structuring of scaffold materials are applied and further developed.

The progress of miniaturization facilitates the vision of controlling biochemical reactions on µ-scale as such lab-on-a-chip applications are present research topics. Transport on very small dimensions differs from the macro world, exhibiting very small Reynolds numbers and increasing the influence of interface effects. We have developed a microfluidics chamber allowing for a controlled manipulation of diffusion gradients of different fluids by external pressure variation. With this setup signalling cascades in living cells can be selectively triggered, yielding knowledge on specific cell functions. (Börn Meier, Doris Heinrich et al, PNAS July 12, 2011 vol. 108, no. 28, 11417-11422)

The goal of this project is the detailed quantitative description of the flow behavior of chemotactic agents in complex environments, especially in the vicinity of walls, edges and living cells. This will be realized by numerical simulations using COMSOL Multiphysics® and others, allowing for the optimization of the spatiotemporally resolved addition of chemokines. This step will be crucial for the advance of the experimental protocol. This modeling is set at the intersection of experimental and theoretical work.

What we expect from you
We are looking for enthusiastic students with a background in the field of physics, biology, material studies or equivalent, with a strong interest in bio-physical matters. We are seeking for team players who are able to work independently and enjoy to apply themselves.

Relevant focus areas of this project are:
  • COMSOL® Simulation
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Spinning disk confocal microscopy
  • Cell culture
  • Programming in Matlab

What you can expect from us
- A cooperative, collegial, friendly and creative working atmosphere.
- An innovative research environment.
- Flexibility for your own ideas and concepts in research and development.
(keine Angaben)
Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization. Our research efforts are geared entirely to people’s needs: health, security, communication, energy and the environment. As a result, the work undertaken by our researchers and developers has a significant impact on people’s lives. We are creative. We shape technology. We design products. We improve methods and techniques. We open up new vistas.

Job Reference:

Closing Date:

Prof. Dr. rer. nat. (Physics) Doris Heinrich
Head of Attract Group
Fraunhofer-Institute for Silicate Research ISC
Neunerplatz 2
D-97082 Würzburg, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)931 31-81862

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