02-19-2009, 03:46 AM

The ability of eukaryotic cells to resist mechanical deformation is
largely determined by the cytoskeleton. This protein structure not only
provides the static frame on which cell body is supported. The
cytoskeleton also offers the dynamic scaffolding from which cell is able
to change its shape, coordinate its movements, exert mechanical forces,
and sense the extracellular environment. In this project it will be
studied how the rigidity of the extracellular matrix or the substrate
can regulate cell tensional forces that activate integrins, promote
focal adhesion assembly, or change matrix stiffness.
Biofunctionalisation of 2D polylactic surfaces will be made and
mechanical stimuli through substrate deformation will be applied on
eukaryotic cells. The mechanical behavior of the cell will be measured
optical magnetic twisting cytometry and a single cell finite element
computational model will be developed to try to mimic the soft glassy
behavior of living cells. The mechanotransduction processes will be
studied and the interactions between biomaterials, mechanical stimuli
and biological entities will be evaluated.

The Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (www.ibecbarcelona.eu) is
a research institute covering most bioengineering fields, from basic
research to medical applications, aiming to act as an international
reference in this field. The post-doc project is integrated within 3
research lines of the institute: (1) Biomechanics and mechanobiology led
by Dr. Damien Lacroix, (2) Cellular and respiratory biomechanics led by
Prof. Daniel Navajas, and (3) Bio/non-bio interactions for regenerative
medicine led by Prof. Josep Planell. The candidate will interact with
the researchers from the three research lines. Therefore,
multidisciplinary and team qualities are essentials. Candidates are
expected to have a sound background in physics/biophysics or bioengineering.

The contract will last for one year renewable an additional year. Salary
is commensurate with experience. The selected candidate is expected to
start in April-May 2009. Candidates are invited to send a CV, a cover
letter describing previous work and motivation, and names and e-mail
addresses of 2-3 referees to Dr. Damien Lacroix
(dlacroix@ibec.pcb.ub.es) before 15 March 2009.

Damien Lacroix, PhD
Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia
C\ Baldiri Reixac, 13
08028 Barcelona
Tel: +34 934020266
Fax: +34 934037181
Email: dlacroix@ibec.pcb.ub.es