Cells operate in a synergistic way with their chemical and physical environments. We have a variety of projects investigating the interface of cells and their physical environment and how this contributes to dynamic cellular behaviour. This project's focus is on providing a defined physical scaffold that mimics the in vivo 3D microenvironment, monitored over time and with applied force. By fluorescently labelling the matrix we can simultaneously monitor both its morphology and its mechanical properties using the only confocal rheometer in Australia. In addition, the project aims to control the mechanical properties of the matrix by developing a biological based crosslinking technique.

The project can involve creating fluorescent cell models, purifying and employing natural matrices, making designer matrices through bioconjugation of bioactive molecules to synthetic matrices, high resolution STED confocal imaging in combination with applied force (rheometer), general protein biochemistry, stem cell differentiation and other cell behaviour and functional assays.

Dr Kijas is always interested to work with students who are driven by their interest in research and motivated to succeed.

Please email for more detailed information on this project which can be tailored as an honours, masters or PhD.

Supervisor: Dr Amanda Kijas