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Förslaget inkom 2010-05-21

New technique to determine mass transport in soft biomaterials

Controlled delivery of pharmaceutical active ingredients, biotechnology for separation and purification, hygiene, foods, cosmetics and tissues utilise soft materials that have complicated microstructures. Controlled molecular mass transport is vital for the functionality of all these applications. Many of these soft biomaterials are very heterogeneous meaning that different parts of the microstructure have their individual diffusion properties. The microstructure acts like a matrix in which the molecules diffuse and the mass transport properties are determined by the obstruction, interaction and structure dynamics of the soft biomaterials. It is therefore important to be able to measure, understand and design microstructure-mass transport relationships in order to achieve desired product properties.

This diploma work aims to implement and develop a new technique to measure local diffusion properties directly in the microscope. A successful implementation will open up possibilities to measure local diffusion rates in very heterogeneous soft biomaterials like gels and tissues and to segment different parts of the microstructure based on the local dynamics of the soft material.

The new technique is based on series of micrograph recorded with Confocal laser scanning microscopy, see part A in the figure enclosed. The series of micrograph is the analysed using image correlation spectroscopy that is based on the pixel fluctuations (parts B to F). The pixel fluctuations from the instrument have very short correlations but dynamics like diffusion has more long ranged correlations. From analyse of the correlation function, it is possible to determine a number of interesting features at a very local scale.

The diploma work is a 30 p work (20 weeks) and it will be performed at the Swedish Institute for Food and Biotechnology (SIK) and the Department of Mathematical Statistics at Chalmers University of Technology. It is good if the student is interested in mathematical statistics, image analysis and soft materials. The diploma work will form part of the competence centre SuMo Biomaterials. It will be supervised by Professor Mats Rudemo, PhD Jenny Jonasson at Chalmers, PhD Niklas Lorén and PhD student Joel Hagman at SIK. If you are interested please contact Mats Rudemo (rudemo@chalmers.se), Niklas Lorén (nl@sik.se) or Joel Hagman (jha@sik.se).


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