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Trapping bacteria efficiently to inform treatment of urinary tract infection using microfluidic chips: a mathematical modelling and observational study

Grant number: 16/20115-5
Support type:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 09, 2017
Effective date (End): May 08, 2017
Field of knowledge:Physical Sciences and Mathematics - Mathematics - Applied Mathematics
Principal Investigator:Gustavo Carlos Buscaglia
Grantee:Stevens Paz Sánchez
Supervisor abroad: Hermes Gadelha
Home Institution: Instituto de Ciências Matemáticas e de Computação (ICMC). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: University of York, England  
Associated to the scholarship:14/14720-8 - Finite element methods for microscale multiphase flows: application in separation processes, BP.DR


The proposed stage aims at participating of the design of microfluidic devices thatcapture E. Coli bacteria for the fast analysis of antimicrobial susceptibility means.An ongoing project at University of York has already fabricated a first generation ofsuch devices, in which multiple rows of micro-sized, u-shaped traps are placed inan array. The trapping efficiency of this first design has been experimentally mea-sured and shown to be suboptimal. Mathematical modeling and numerical simula-tion are suitable tools to improve the design, since the large number of (mainly geo-metrical) parameters makes empirical optimization cumbersome, expensive andtime consuming, with an optimal output not being guaranteed. The student willnumerically solve the governing equations that describe the fluid flow around thearray of micro-sized u-shaped trap structures. By introducing a mathematicallyconvenient parameterisation, robust optimization algorithms will be coupled to theflow solver so as to maximize the number of E. Coli bacteria trapped, as well as theassociated trapping force.