Post-doctoral position offer at M2P2 lab
La mission de la Fondation est de gérer les fonds alloués au titre du projet A*MIDEX.
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Publié: il y a 7 jours
Date limite d'inscription: mai 01
Localisation: Marseille Cedex 07, France
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Post-doctoral position offer at M2P2 lab

AMIDEX interdisciplinary project
Post-doctoral position offer at M2P2 lab
Title: Numerical simulation of the mucociliary transport in human lungs

Starting date: 01/09/2018
Duration: 1 year (renewable up to 2 years)
Location: M2P2 lab, Aix Marseille University, CNRS, Centrale Marseille, France

Research project

This postdoc position is in the context of the MACBION project funded by AMIDEX, and is focussed on the numerical simulation of mucociliary clearance. The global objective is to progress on the understanding and the medical treatment of chronic respiratory diseases, such as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Diseases) and severe asthma. The medical interest of having a numerical model for mucociliary clearance is huge because chronic respiratory diseases affect nowadays hundreds of millions of people and the actual treatments do not slow down the accelerated decay of the pulmonary function.

Mucociliary clearance is an innate mechanism of airway protection, which consists of the active transport along the bronchial tree of the mucus, a fluid propelled by the coordinated beating of a myriad of cilia along the epithelial surface of lungs. Despite a large corpus of biological and clinical studies, the underlying biophysical mechanisms of mucociliary clearance still remain unclear and one of the objective of this postdoc is to use numerical simulation to shed new light on this fluid-structure interaction problem. In particular, the effect of the highly non-Newtonian properties of the mucus on the transport properties will be quantified. These properties include shear-thinning, yield-stress behaviour and thixotropy.

A numerical code will be available at the beginning of the postdoc, based on lattice Boltzmann and immersed boundary methods and capable to simulate flexible beating cilia in a multiphase flow environment. Developments around the implementation of non-Newtonian models (Herschel–Bulkley) in lattice Boltzmann are to be expected. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the project, the work will require interactions with the experimental biophysicists at CINaM, and the Pulmonology experts of C2VN. Both labs are on the Aix Marseille University campus.

Objectives of the postdoc

Within this two-years postdoc, the objectives are synthetically listed below:

  • Validate a numerical model for the ciliary transport of mucus having shear-thinning and yield-stress properties and compare the results with the experiments obtained at CINaM on ALI cultures (length scale of mucus transport, velocity, spatial organization of cilia, and collective dynamics of beatings, etc.)  
  • Analyse the underlying hydrodynamic phenomena of mucociliary clearance by focussing on the study of the energetic efficiency of metachronal waves
  • Progress on the understanding of the role of hydromechanics on the cilia beating coordination and cilia spatial organization by comparing numerical results with experiments.

Profile description

The candidate will be specialized in computational fluid dynamics and fluid-structure interaction. More specifically, an expertise in lattice Boltzmann method and immersed boundary is sought. A background on the physical analysis of generic mechanisms involved in fluid-structure interaction would be a strong asset. A crucial aspect of the work will be the physical analysis of the numerical results in an interdisciplinary context. Having a taste for health issues and biomedical themes, or having already worked in that context would be greatly appreciated. The challenges in terms of numerical simulation include the management of complex geometry (flexible and moving), a multiphase and non-Newtonian context and high performance computing (HPC). Numerical developments are thus expected in these contexts, and the curriculum of the candidate will have to show the adequacy with the expected profile in terms of academic formation, experience and publications.

How to apply

Send an application to: Julien.Favier@m2p2.fr including:

- A detailed CV with a list of publications
- A cover letter 

Deadline to apply: 01/05/2018
Note: Applications made after the deadline will not be considered

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