Gijs IJpma

Research Associate

B. and M. Mechanical Engineering, PhD Biomedical engineering

Project : High Throughput Airway Smooth Muscle Mechanics

After a Bachelor and Masters in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Twente in the Netherlands I did my PhD on the mathematical modelling of airway smooth muscle dynamics at the Auckland University of Technology in New Zealand. I continued my work on airway smooth muscle mechanics in Montreal and I am currently heading two projects on developing equipment to aid in the measurement of airway smooth muscle mechanics. In a collaborative research project with Aurora Scientific Inc. funded by an NSERC CRD grant I am developing a multi-bath tissue incubator system that is capable of measuring tissue mechanical properties during incubation in a fully automated environment. This system will allow for semi-high throughput testing of changes in contractile tissue mechanics in response to a large variety of bioactive compounds, inflammatory cells etc. I am also developing a microfluidic system to test the contractile force and shortening velocity of freshly digested smooth muscle cells. This CIHR funded project aims to bridge the divide between measurements of low-throughput but highly contractile smooth muscle tissue vs high throughput but barely contracting smooth muscle cells from culture. We will use microfluidics to isolate and manipulate the cells for optimal and high-throughput measurements. This will enable the study of mechanical and contractile properties of (smooth) muscle cells from biopsies of live patients or the longitudinal tracking of these properties from biopsies in animal models.