FII Student’s research receives international recognition

The work done by PhD candidate Rahul Madathiparambil Visalakshan and colleagues into nanoscale factors that can control the immune response and prevent artificial implant rejection from the human body has received international recognition. The image (pictured) shows nanotopography‐induced unfolding of fibrinogen modulates leukocyte binding and activation.

Rahul, from the Future Industries Institute and School of Engineering, is working with Professor Krasimir Vasilev and colleagues on the role of surface nanotopography in modulating immune responses.

The research is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and investigates nanofeatures and materials that interact with biological systems (known as biomaterials) that can prevent the rejection of an artificial implant from the body.

By using model surfaces purposely engineered at the nanoscale, the team demonstrates nanotopography scale dependent fibrinogen unfolding, which leads to the exposure of normally hidden peptide sequences causing activation of the Mac‐1 receptor of inflammatory cells.

This research could change how artificial implants are produced and monitored in the future. This is the first in-depth research into precisely tailoring nanofeatures to control immune response.

The research has been featured on the cover of one of the biomedical research industry’s most prestigious journals, Advanced Functional Material, the journal reports on breakthrough research in materials science. The article highlighted the innovative investigation into the nanofeatures of inflammation and their impact on artificial implants and describes the role of surface nanotopography in modulating immune responses.

Rahul Visalakshan also has an impressive publication record with a total 12 research papers in leading journals. He has received the John A Brodie Medal from Engineers Australia, Australian Nanotechnology Network Fellowship, and best presentation awards at the International Conference on Molecular Biotechnology and Biomaterials in the Netherlands and at the Australia-China Conference of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine in Australia.