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  3. PhD on Flow and Deformation of Cancer Cells

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PhD on Flow and Deformation of Cancer Cells

Project Background: Often primary tumors do not kill patient, but secondary tumors do. These so-called metastatic tumor cells detach from a tumor and migrate …

12 maanden geleden


Lorentzweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


Project Background: Often primary tumors do not kill patient, but secondary tumors do. These so-called metastatic tumor cells detach from a tumor and migrate through a complex environment, ultimately, prove fatal. Currently, we do not understand the fundamental of the mechanical pathways. Your challenge is to understand the mechanics of cancer invasion at (sub-) cellular level. This is excellent topic to further your training in cell biology, biophysics and engineering, because you will need all three to describe coupling between cell migration and intracellular bio-polymer dynamics during/after cancer invasion in the presence of physical forces.

Project goal and description:

Unravelling the viscoelastic response of cancer and normal cells during flow

Cells inside a solid tumor behave like glassy materials with viscoelastic properties. Here, this PhD student will capture flow and deformation of cellular systems at microscopic level, using rheometric tools integrated with advanced microscopy techniques. In addition, PhD researcher will employ microfluidic techniques to characterize the rheological response of cancer cells during shear and channel flow.

Keywords: Rheology, Microfluidics, Non-linear viscoelasticity, mechanical properties of cells. 


We are looking for a PhD student with interest in the areas of microscale fluid dynamics, biophysics, and soft matter physics. You should have:

  • a MSc degree in biophysics, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering or a similar discipline, with excellent laboratory skills (preferably rheology, microscopy and microfluidics).
  • a strong theoretical background in rheology, biophysics, and preferably complemented with a good understanding of soft matter physics.
  • a curious mind-set, are self-driven, not afraid to take initiative, and able to easily communicate with others.
  • a high English proficiency in speaking, writing and reading


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

In case you have questions on the contents of this project, please contact Pouyan Boukany, the PI on this project, directly through: p.e.boukany@tudelft.nl.